Northern Ireland news

Concerns raised about stop and search on vulnerable woman

The 50-year-old, who has a range of medical complaints, is an aunt of prominent Saoradh member Stephen Murney (pictured).
Connla Young

The family of a Co down woman who suffers from learning difficulties has voiced concern after she was subjected to a PSNI stop and search operation.

Annette Quinn, from Newry was a passenger in a vehicle which was stopped by police in the Hospital Road area of the city earlier this month.

The 50-year-old, who has a range of medical complaints, is an aunt of prominent Saoradh member Stephen Murney.

Last night her carer and sister Martina Murney explained that she attends a day care facility and is never left unaccompanied at night.

It comes after it emerged that the PSNI has used ‘stop and search’ powers on children 35,000 times over the past eight years.

Video taken during the incident appears to show a male officer indicating they had no interest in searching Ms Quinn but that officers wanted to check her handbag.

However, when female officers arrived at the scene they removed Ms Quinn from the vehicle and searched her.

The 50-year-old, who has a range of medical complaints, is an aunt of prominent Saoradh member Stephen Murney (pictured).

“I thought it was disgusting the way they handled the whole thing and threatened to take her to the police station,” she said.

Ms Murney said she has contacted her sister’s social worker to make them aware of the incident.

“She does not understand any of this,” he said.

Chief Inspector Nigel Henry said: “We are mindful of the impact that stop and search powers have on the community and we seek to ensure all of our interactions are professional, respectful and courteous.”

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