Investigations & Analysis - Northern Ireland
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Police can request a breath test when they have reason to suspect a person is driving under the influence of alcohol

Stormont faces major challenge tackling drink and drug driving

16 SEPTEMBER 2014

BY NIALL MCCRACKEN

THERE have been more than 6,500 arrests in Northern Ireland for driving while under the influence of drink or drugs during the last two years.

The new police arrest figures obtained by The Detail, which are being made public for the first time, come as the Northern Ireland Assembly examines legislation that could see the drink-drive limit reduced by almost 40%.

The figures show that between May 2012 and May 2014 over 80% of those arrested were men, while the most common time of arrest was between 12am and 6am.

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PSNI crested bibles

PSNI questioned over equality testing in approval of police crested bibles

09 SEPTEMBER 2014

BY BARRY McCAFFREY

The Police Service of Northern Ireland is facing criticism that it breached its own safeguards after it allowed the PSNI crest to be used on Christian bibles without equality assessments being carried out.

A leading academic and trade union have both questioned whether it was appropriate for the PSNI to allow its police crest to be printed on Christian bibles being offered to police staff without equality screening tests having been undertaken.

A key part of fair employment legislation, introduced after the Good Friday agreement in 1998, requires public bodies to undertake an Equality Screening process to assess whether or not any proposed policy or decision could breach Section 75 safeguards.

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Woodlands Juvenile Justice Centre in Bangor is the only custodial facility for children in Northern Ireland.
Woodlands Juvenile Justice Centre in Bangor is the only custodial facility for children in Northern Ireland.

Increase in detention of vulnerable young people

03 SEPTEMBER 2014

BY NIALL MCCRACKEN

THERE has been a dramatic increase in the number of times children living in care have been detained in Northern Ireland’s Juvenile Justice Centre, The Detail can reveal.

New figures contained in an internal presentation hosted by two Stormont departments show that the number of times children living in care were held in custody more than doubled from 2011 to 2013.

The presentation was delivered at a joint Department of Justice and Department of Health workshop and also highlighted a growing trend of children in care being sent to the Juvenile Justice Centre (JJC) without being sentenced or convicted of a crime.

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There has been an increase in the number of times children from care have gone missing for more than 24 hours

Children missing from care

03 SEPTEMBER 2014

BY NIALL MCCRACKEN

THE Detail can reveal that 69 children living in care went missing for more than 24 hours on 132 occasions in the last year.

This is the highest number recorded over the last three years.

The latest figures we requested from the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) come as it was announced last week that a landmark report into the sexual exploitation and abuse of young people in Northern Ireland would publish its findings in the autumn.

The report was commissioned last year after police reviewed a series of cases involving children going missing from the care system in Northern Ireland.

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