Belfast Telegraph

Human rights body to monitor PSNI searches

By Donna Deeney

A human rights group has agreed to monitor police searches in Londonderry after a series of allegations of harassment by residents in the Creggan area.

The Belfast-based Committee for the Administration of Justice (CAJ) confirmed that it will now work alongside Creggan Women's Group to log all allegations of police harassment in the area and will later present its findings to the Police Ombudsman’s Office.

The move arose out of a public meeting called by members of the women's group who had been alarmed and shocked by the stories they were being told about ‘stop and searches’ of women and children in the area.

Group spokeswoman Betty Doherty said: “People don't know what their rights are, which is why I contacted the CAJ.”

Daniel Holder, CAJ deputy director, added: “We heard some serious reports of misuse of stop and search powers.”

A police spokesman said: “Anyone with a complaint to make about a police officer, or officers, should contact the Police Ombudsman’s Office so that it can be fully investigated.”

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