25/03/2005

PSNI to get new plastic baton round

The PSNI is to adopt a new plastic baton round following backing from the Northern Ireland Policing Board.

In a statement released on Friday the board said the decision to replace the baton round with an 'attenuated energy projectile' was subject to conditions which include consultations with the Children's Commissioner for Northern Ireland and other bodies.

Board Chairman Professor Sir Desmond Rea said the use of plastic baton rounds was of real importance to many people across Northern Ireland, “not least those who have in the past suffered loss or harm to their family members and friends, and the board acknowledges this.” The new plastic baton round presented "less risk of causing serious or fatal harm," he added.

SDLP board member Alex Attwood said that his party had opposed the decision saying there had been "inadequate medical assessments on the impact of this weapon on children".

However, Sinn Fein’s Gerry Kelly accused the SDLP “of once again acquiescing to the continuing use of plastic bullets by the PSNI”.

“The SDLP in public have consistently claimed to be opposed to the use of plastic bullets,” Mr Kelly said. “They told us that through membership of the Policing Board they would ensure the removal of plastic bullets.

“Yet on the Policing Board they have previously rubber stamped the purchase of thousands of these devices. Yesterday the Policing Board voted to introduce a new plastic bullet, the SDLP made noise but were ultimately powerless to prevent this and will without doubt go along with the decision of the Board.”

(MB/SP)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

13 March 2020
Nine New Covid-19 Cases Identified
Nine new cases of coronavirus have been diagnosed in Northern Ireland. Work is underway to establish any contacts the individuals have had. It's unclear as yet whether the cases confirm the beginning of community transmission. A total of 321 people have been tested in recent weeks, of which 29 were positive.
09 March 2020
Five New Coronavirus Cases Confirmed
Five new cases of coronavirus have been detected in Northern Ireland. The Public Health Agency confirmed the further spread of the flu-like virus on Sunday, bringing the total number of cases in the region to 12. The search is on to trace people who have been in contact with the latest cases.
27 February 2020
New Vehicle Lifts Ordered Amid MoT Crisis
Fifty two new vehicle lifts are to be installed at MoT test centres across Northern Ireland, the Infrastructure Minister has announced. The £1.8 million order follows the cancellation of thousands of vehicle checks late last month after cracks were identified in the majority of lifts in operation.
21 February 2020
Minister Confirms 155 New Jobs For Coleraine
Some 155 jobs are to be created in Coleraine as local manufacturer Maine Surface Finishing launches a £9.5 million expansion, the Economy Minister has announced. The highly skilled roles to be filled include engineers, fabricators and welders and are "extremely positive news" for Northern Ireland's manufacturing industry, Diane Dodds said.
18 February 2020
Appeal As New Builds Damaged In Co L'Derry
Police are appealing for information after damage was caused to a construction site in Portstewart, Co L'Derry. The windows and doors of two buildings in Hatheran Mews, off Lissadell Avenue, were damaged over the last few days.