Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Would Mr Orde electrocute a child?

12 September, 2007

Foyle Sinn Féin MLA Martina Anderson will tell a meeting of the Policing Board's Human Rights committee today that there is no justification for the PSNI to be armed with controversial TASER guns.

Ms Anderson said:

"There is no documentary evidence to prove that TASERS are any less lethal that plastic bullets. In fact, Amnesty International has documented over 245 deaths in the US over the past six years which have been linked to these weapons.

"A British government medical committee has also warned that not enough is known about the health risks of TASERS on children and pregnant women.

"I would like to ask the Chief Constable if he feels it is acceptable to fire 50,000 volts of electricity through the body of a because that is what will happen if these weapons are introduced."

Ms Anderson also criticised the Chief Constable's proposal to proceed with a taser training scheme before an equality impact assessment has been completed.

"The PSNI is obliged by law to carry out an equality impact assessment into the effects of TASERS and when the Chief Constable first tried to introduce them without doing so, Sinn Féin succeeded in forcing him to abandon his plans and go back to the Equality Commission.

"Now he is proposing to begin training his officers in the use of TASERS at the same time as carrying out the equality impact assessment.

"However, that flies in the face of the advice he has received from the Equality Commission and is potentially a waste of police resources. After all, why begin training in a weapon which may never be given the go-ahead?

"Sinn Féin is fundamentally opposed to arming the police with these deadly weapons and we will continue to resist any and all attempts to introduce them." ENDS

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