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McLaughlin welcomes latest Orde statement on Plastic Bullets

12 January, 2007

Sinn Féin Assembly member Mitchel McLaughlin today welcomed the PSNI Chief Constable's statement on Plastic Bullets.

Mr. McLaughlin said:

"There should be a total ban on Plastic Bullets. Between 1970 and 2005 almost 126,000 rubber and plastic bullets were fired. This weapon has killed 17 people - including 9 children. They were deliberately used against peaceful protestors and mourners attending funerals. In 1981 alone the RUC fired almost 30,000 plastic bullets killing 7 people, three of whom were children. Thousands more were injured.

"The purchase of Plastic Bullets by the Policing Board in recent years is an explicit approval of their use. For decades Sinn Féin has worked with victims and human rights groups to see an end to their use on our streets. We will continue to do so.

"Sinn Féin has recently held a number of meetings with PSNI Chief Constable Hugh Orde specifically on the issue of plastic bullets. We welcome the commitment not to use these weapons in crowd control or public order situations. Hugh Orde's acknowledgement of the hurt resulting from injuries and deaths of innocent people, including children, is also welcome. These weapons should never be used again." ENDS

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