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Police Complaints

Volume 116: debated on Tuesday 12 May 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many persons were arrested by the police in Northern Ireland in 1986 under emergency legislation, and under other arrest powers; how many in each category complained whilst in police custody of irregular conduct by police officers during interview procedures; how many of any such complaints in each category were not subsequently pursued by complainants with the Police Complaints Board; and what proportion of those persons were arrested under emergency legislation who alleged irregular conduct by police officers during interview procedures were at the time being interviewed at (a) Castlereagh and (b) Gough police offices, respectively.

[pursuant to his reply, 7 May 1987, c. 536] In 1986, 2,212 people were arrested by the Royal Ulster Constabulary under the emergency legislation; 317 subsequently made allegations about irregular conduct by police officers. Of these, 51ยท4 per cent. (163) had been interviewed at Castlereagh and 382 per cent. (121) at Gough barracks police offices. The remainder had been interviewed elsewhere.During 1986 the Police Complaints Board dealt with 251 cases of complaints by persons arrested under emergency legislation; of these, 196 were subsequently not pursued by the complainants.Information requested about persons arrested under other arrest powers is not available in the form requested.However, in 1986 the Police Complaints Board received a total of 2,775 complaints; of these 1,111 were withdrawn by the complainants. In addition, during 1986 the board granted 521 requests from the RUC, under regulation 11 of the RUC (Complaints) Regulations 1977, to dispense with the requirements of section 13 of the Police (Northern Ireland) Act 1970 and of article 5(1) and (4) of the Police (Northern Ireland) Order 1977 as the complaints were anonymous, repetitious or incapable of investigation.