Despite Justice Minister Alan Shatter’s recent denials, ethnic profiling is a part of our policing. Phoenix FM‘s Freda Mullin Hughes spoke to Aisling Twomey of Pavee Point about this issue.
Aisling Twomey: One of the things that’s been very worrying for us lately is news of what’s emerged about the Garda PULSE system and particularly about Traveller and Roma children being recorded on it and given criminal intelligence numbers.
To us that basically amounts to Ethnic Profiling and one of the things that’s most difficult for us to accept is that we push so hard for these people to be recognised as an ethnic grroup and the state is unwilling or unable to properly engage with us on it to make things better for them but when it comes down to it they ARE actually collecting this data, they are collecting plenty of data on these ethnic minorites in a very unfair way and in a way that really designates people in a very stereotypical manner.
So we’re finding it a little bit troubling, very difficult to cope with and very hard to understand how any state would allow details of children as young as 16 days old, a year old, two years old to actually be collected as part of what is essentially a database belonging to the police…[asked has the Minister for Justice been forthcoming?]
…there have been rumours about this for so long but it’s very, very hard to actually receive the information or to get it or do anything with it so it has only been with the co-operation with the Garda whistleblowers who are now so well known in the national media that we have managed to get any information at all.
The Phoenix FM broadcast from Pavee Point explored issues that affect Traveller and Roma in Ireland and began with the issue of Garda profiling Traveller children and entering them on the criminal database ‘PULSE’.
Other issues examined in interview include Traveller Men’s groups, Primary Health Care & media coverage of Travellers in programmes like ‘My Big, Fat Gypsy Wedding’.
(h/t to Phoenix FM who are fundraising at the moment to keep providing a radio service to the community)