This morning on RTE radio one, John Mc Guiness made reference to the profiling of children and babies within the Traveller community by the police force. He spoke of one case of a 16 day old baby being entered into the Pulse system, the national police intelligence and crime database. This is one case in at least 40 families being targeted in this way. One wonders what kind of training cops get if they enter the details of a baby on a crime database. It seems that in the eyes of the police force, or certain officers at least, merely being alive makes you a criminal suspect.
This has been in the public domain following actions by Garda whistleblower John Wilson (pictured above.) Once on the PULSE system you cant be taken off. Whilst most of mainstream media seek to push this under the carpet as part of moving on, the statement made on RTE today are likely to provoke anger and action from anti racist, traveller advocacy and human rights organisations over the next few days. Here’s a letter Wilson wrote over 2 years ago about the practice of recording underage children by the police force on the PULSE system.
Broadsheet reported at the time.
“Mr Wilson alleges that hundreds of Traveller babies – one as young as 16 days old – have had their names put on the PULSE system, with each child getting a criminal intelligence PULSE number.
How this would happen, he claims, is that if a Garda stopped a car driven by a Traveller, and if there were children present in the car, those children’s names would be placed on PULSE.
Mr Wilson says that gardaí were encouraged to do this by senior gardaí.
Mr Wilson says that gardaí are in the practice of stopping and searching young people in certain, “working-class areas”, under the Misuse of Drugs Act and that gardaí would put these youths’ names on PULSE and record them as having been searched for drugs.”
Its unlikely that this will blow over anytime soon.