Republican News · Thursday 21 December 2000

[An Phoblacht]

Humberside police retreat

The chief constable of Humberside police, David Westwood, has been forced to withdraw a memo which branded all Irish in England people as potential `terrorist' suspects and which ordered his officers to report all their dealings with anyone of ``anyone of Irish origin, descent or background'' to Special Branch. A statement from Humberside Police said: ``Having had the matter brought to his attention, the Chief Constable of Humberside has decided to withdraw the policy with immediate effect.''

The embarrassing climb-down came after protests from human rights activists, Irish groups, a number of MPs and intervention from the Irish ambassador, Ted Barrington, who raised the issue with British Home Office Minister Mike O'Brien. Director of the Irish in Britain Representation Group, Jane Winter, said that the memo contravened human rights legislation and advised anyone who believes that their details may have been passed on to Special Branch to seek legal advice.

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