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SDLP Accused Over Plastic Bullet Move

25 March, 2005

Sinn Féin spokesperson on policing issues Gerry Kelly has accused the SDLP 'of once again acquiescing to the continuing use of plastic bullets by the PSNI'. Mr Kelly's remarks come after the Policing Board of which the SDLP are a key component voted to introduce a new plastic bullet.

Mr 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 pf 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. The SDLP have once again acquiesced to the continuing use of plastic bullets by the PSNI.

"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." ENDS

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