Irish Republican News · January 17, 2008
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
PSNI training for Taser attacks

There has been anger at the announcement that members of the PSNI have begun training with high-voltage Taser weapons and will be deploying them on the streets within weeks.

Declarations by a PSNI spokesman that they have “no intention” of using them against in riot situations have been greeted with scepticism.

“The PSNI, like police services nationally, is constantly seeking less lethal options in order not to have to resort to lethal force when dealing with violent criminals,” said a spokesman.

The guns are capable of dealing an excruciating 50,000 Volt shock to the human body and have been blamed for hundreds of deaths and thousands of so-called “torture by Taser” attacks.

Sinn Féin and Republican Sinn Féin strongly criticised the stun gun announcement.

“Across the world there have been many people killed by Tasers, including the recent death of a woman in Canada,” Sinn Féin assembly member Alex Maskey said.

“Our objective is to see a routinely unarmed police service but we do not believe that plastic bullets or Tasers are the solution.”

The revelation that PSNI chief Hugh Orde demonstrated that the Policing Board, which claims to hold the PSNI/RUC to account, has no real powers, a spokesman for Republican Sinn Féin has said. RSF Publicity Officer, Richard Walsh, added that all of the allegedly “less-lethal” options have been shown to be deadly

“Hugh Orde may make reference to ‘less-lethal’ force, but the fact remains that the use of Tasers can result in the death of the target,” said RSF Publicity Officer, Richard Walsh.

“Given that the Six County Policing Board was not prepared to endorse the use of these weapons at this time, those who claimed that they were taking their seats on the Board to hold the RUC to account should now have the honesty to admit that these structures do not allow for this.

“All alternatives to live rounds billed as less-lethal options by the British Crown Forces, such as plastic and rubber bullets, have been shown to be potentially deadly.”

Amnesty International also criticised the decision.

The human rights group said more than 270 people had been killed by Tasers in North America alone since 2001.

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