9 June 2005 Edition

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Policing Board admission on Plastic Bullets

Sinn Féin spokesperson on policing, Gerry Kelly, says the admission by the Policing Board last week that their new plastic bullet breaches Patten is vindication of the Sinn Féin position both on plastic bullets and on participation on the Policing Board.

Kelly said: "Plastic bullets kill, that is the bottom line. They are lethal devices and have no place in an acceptable policing service. The SDLP in public have consistently claimed to be opposed to the use of plastic bullets. 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 rubberstamped the purchase of thousands of these devices. The SDLP have once again acquiesced to the continuing use of plastic bullets by the PSNI.

"The Policing Board has now admitted publicly that its current position is in breach of Patten. This is a vindication of the Sinn Féin position on both plastic bullets and on participation in the Policing Board.

"The continuing use of Plastic Bullets by the PSNI causes great anger within the broad nationalist and republican community. The Sinn Féin position on Plastic Bullets is clear and unambiguous. We are absolutely opposed to the use of plastic bullets and have campaigned to have them removed for decades. The ongoing use of plastic bullets has of course formed part of our discussions with the British Government on the wider issue of trying to achieve an acceptable and accountable policing service.

"Nationalists and republicans want to see plastic bullets removed, not re-invented or re-branded by the Policing Board or the SDLP."

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