20/08/2008

'Shoot To Kill' Comments Slammed

A Sinn Féin MLA has today joined other nationalists in slamming remarks attributed to a top DUP MLA on the way police should react to potentially deadly attacks on them.

North Antrim MLA and NI Policing Board Member Daithi McKay said that Ian Paisley Junior's remarks concerning the PSNI shooting so-called dissident republicans on sight were his latest attempts to "become relevant after his dramatic fall from ministerial office".

Earlier this week, Ian Paisley Junior said that police officers should be able to use lethal force when they are being attacked by people trying to kill them.

He made the comments as clarification for an earlier remark when he said police "should shoot dissident republicans on sight".

"Officers should have the opportunity to employ lethal force against those who would seek to kill them," he said.

However, he has already been criticised by fellow Policing Board Member, Dolores Kelly.

The SDLP representative said such actions would erode community support for the police and he should consider his position.
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"It is difficult to think of anything which would serve the dissident cause better than a shoot-to-kill policy," she said.

"It is also disturbing that we have anyone involved in policing at any level who can't work that out for himself."

Mr Paisley Jnr made his original comments in the wake of a rocket attack on a PSNI foot patrol in County Fermanagh.

He said people would support the use of lethal force to wipe out the threat posed by groups such as the Real IRA.

SF's Daithi McKay further underlined opposition today when he said: "Since Ian Paisley Junior suffered the humiliation of being forced from Ministerial Office, his contributions to pubic debate have been increasingly nonsensical and irrelevant. This latest outburst certainly falls into that category.

"It also exposes a failure of sections of the DUP to come to terms with the new political realities and a failure to learn the lessons of the past.

"The PSNI is not the unionist militia it replaced. The days of paramilitary policing have gone with the RUC and cannot return.

"The way in which people will be convinced about the futility of carrying on pointless armed actions which do not contribute to any strategy to achieve Irish unity is to demonstrate clearly that politics works."

(BMcC/KMcA)

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