Orde stops short of ban on use of AEPs

In addition to the statement on the continuing role for MI5 in (Northern) Ireland there have been suggestions of an impending comment of some kind on the use of plastic bullets, or rather their replacement the Attenuated Energy Projectiles, and tonight we may have got it. In a wide-ranging Press Association interview, according to the BBC, the non-political Chief Constable Hugh Orde, as well as commenting on the political situation, said that ‘he does not want his officers to have to use plastic bullets again.’ Of course, being an operational matter, it remains an option he, and his officers, also want to have available.. and it seems they will.From the BBC report

Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde has said he does not want his officers to have to use plastic bullets again.

Sir Hugh also acknowledged that some of the 14 people killed by plastic bullets during the Troubles were innocent.

Sir Hugh Orde’s remarks come as Sinn Fein considers whether or not to proceed with a special ard fheis which could see it signed up policing.

In a wide-ranging interview, Sir Hugh stopped short of calling for a ban on plastic bullets.

He did not promise never to use the the modern version of the weapon.

He said that as chief constable he retained the right to use them – but stressed the best way of avoiding their use was for politicians to engage in policing.