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SDLP policing failures exposed as new Plastic Bullet is introduced

21 June, 2005

Sinn Féin spokesperson on policing Gerry Kelly said that the introduction today of a new plastic bullet by the PSNI exposed again the ineffectiveness of the SDLP members on the Policing Board.

Mr Kelly said:

"Plastic bullets kill that is the bottom line. They are lethal devices and have no place in an acceptable policing service. Today the new plastic bullet ratified and purchased by the Policing Board comes into service. This reality exposes again the ineffectiveness of the SDLP position on the Policing Board.

"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 presided over the introduction of another 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 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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