“they should not misunderstand that they can tell the police what to do on every single issue.”

Despite the certainty of the current BBC report, other reports note that the final decision, on a January 2008 pilot introduction of the use Tasers by the police, will be taken on 17th December – although Hugh Orde has made it clear that he has “decided in principle that the introduction of Tasers for specialist officers is something [he] want[s] to do.” The Policing Board chairman, Des Rea, wants him to wait until an Equality Impact Assessment is completed, in March 2008, and Hugh Orde was accused of ignoring the concerns of “a range of groups” by SF Policing Board member Martina Anderson. But, with unrest over policing evident among some of the rank and file, perhaps the advice from UUP member Basil McCrea is timely – see this report

Sinn Fein Board member Martina Anderson said the PSNI had received representations from a range of groups concerned about the impact of Taser. “Many of them are telling you that issuing Tasers is inappropriate, absolutely not acceptable until an equality impact assessment is complete and its conclusions are taken into account,” she said.

“You are totally ignoring and you are not listening to the views expressed by those organisations.” Sir Hugh responded that it was his operational decision, he had taken legal advice on it, and he would take the blame or credit. UUP member Basil McCrea said: “I do think Sinn Fein need to show their community that being on the Board is of value but they should not misunderstand that they can tell the police what to do on every single issue.”

, , ,

  • kensei

    And as pointed out on the previous thread, whether or not the police are armed is mostly definitely not an operational matter. Order treats the board with contempt, and if there is anyone that needs “manners put on them”, it’s the PSNI. I’d argue that even this extension goes into the realm of political matters as there are clearly applications for this far beyond the current range of weaponry – this is closer to an alternative to a baton than a baton round. Sadly it’s too much to hope anyone should put them in line.

    The argument that somehow this is an alternative to a gun or plastic bullets is entirely disingenuous. What are they going to do with the Taser? Lob them at people?

    Oh, perhaps Basil McCrea might be able to show his community that the police force is neither infallible or free from being held to account.

  • DC

    Perhaps there should be an Equality Impact Assessment on alcohol and those who leave school unable to think and speak too well.

  • joeCanuck

    Would that mean that for every 45 paddys who get whacked, 55 billys would have to be as well?

  • Ouch

    I’d rather be shot with a Taser than Glock any day.

    End of.

  • truth,hurts

    Sinn fein’s position on policing has been proven wrong, they told lies saying that they would be able to hold the police to ACCOUNT through the policing board and the Dpp’s. This decision by Hugh Orde proves that all members can achieve at best is to criticize decisions after thay have happened. Hugh Orde maintains he has got the permission of the secretary of State to introduce tasers, HE is the only one who can hold the PSNI to ACCOUNT hes the real BOSS.

  • heck

    I agree truth,hurts

    british democracy for Nor iron is a wonder to behold!

  • ulsterfan

    Republicans accused the police of being under political control in the past but yet when they talk about accountability they actually want to exercise control themselves.
    To them the ideal situation is for the Chief Constable to get his instructions from Connolly House on a regular basis .
    God forbid this should happen. The PSNI were never under political control nor will they be.
    The day to day management of the service rests with the CC and any political party which tries to interfere does so at its peril.
    This will be debated in greater detail when we discuss transfer of powers whenever that may be.
    A long time in the future I hope.

  • Dec

    The PSNI were never under political control nor will they be.

    Oh, my sides are splitting…

    Anyway, given the PSNI’s prodigious use of CS spray in North Belfast, I’m sure the residents there can now look forward to be ‘lit up’ in the new year with some degree of confidence.

  • Frank Sinistra

    Well that’s SFs arguments for supporting the PSNI, joining the Boards and DPPs shot to bits in just a few months. They can’t hold anybody to account.

  • pfhl

    Sir Hugh responded that it was his operational decision, he had taken legal advice on it, and he would take the blame or credit

    It is okay he will take responsibility for it once somebody dies or is seriously injured as a result of their use. If he takes the blame, what will the charges be? Murder? The fact he uses the term, ‘Ill take the blame,’ suggests Hugh Orde is not certain on their safety. Maybe a few strong words on the policing boards from sinn fein was surely worth 30 years of violence. At least we now know the troubles brought us forward so much.

  • Aquifer

    How am I going to get close enough to smack a policeman in the face if they have these things? I’m not going to dance an electric jig to protect anybody’s health and safety at work. Anyway, if it increases the chance of being arrested in a riot where’s the fun in rioting? And filling in all the paperwork won’t be much fun for the riot squad.

    The idea is a dead loss. Without the death.

  • realst

    Now the fun begins
    could it be the tail trying to wag the dog again ?
    Ms anderson has to be joking or unbeleivably niave
    Lets look at some of the main facts todate.
    The 3 amego`s(gerry, martin and pat)since 1985 if not before, with the combined command of whitehall have bathed themselves in treachory against all the people of this land
    1982 martin when asked directly by volonteers were there any lines of communication already open with the brits as that in most conflicts history has proven this to be the case.
    His reply was a catagoric (no end of subject) LIE he still had the crumbs dribbling from the scon he`d just shared with oakley.
    As republicans we had always been made aware of the nessesity to highlight ANYTHING SUSPECTED OF BEING BROKEN no matter how trivial it may appear so as, not to allow
    the lot coming down around us.(failure to comply may have incurred the charge dereliction of duty)
    Not in the habit of paying words of comfort to anyone associated with the occupying forces but this time i`m in that culdesac (spin fein know it well) I think you got a more fair and honest answer from orde than we got from martin.
    Now it appears that mi5 might well have been in full control of the republican movement and coriographing events to shape our future at will.
    We all must share the blame for our sad position
    I and most for lose of concentration, in allowing ourselves to loose sight of the systematic purging of true republicans who refused to disent from the origional stratagedy.
    As this manouver was performed from middle managment and up up and away through the roof. Surely someone was driving the bus and surely at least one of these drivers would have known that problems were occurring with the steering.Get everyone of the bus again
    (process/trip stalled again) All through the journey the drivers keep ensuring the passengers their on a winner as to keep moral (the distraction) high
    Any way and sure enough it turns out that the whole bad epsidode was down to at least 2 completly bald tyres on the front. Both of them over 20 years old whats worse the manufacturers clearly stated under the terms of the warranty the same should be replaced on completion of miles or age.
    Now we`ll have to get to the bottom of this as these fare paying (life,blood,freedom)passengers may be antisapating some sort of an explanation.
    At least orde gave an answer instead of the old beatup rebuttle from spin fein (you would have to talk to the ra about that) They havent gone away ye know. Theyr`e busy as ever in armagh.

  • realst

    10 Almost Charged With Smuggling $200 Million in Fake Goods

    Published: December 6, 2007
    Federal officials announced the arrests yesterday of 10 people they said were members of an international smuggling gang that illegally shipped millions of dollars’ worth of counterfeit apparel into the New York region from factories in Ireland, often in falsely labeled shipping containers.

    The smuggling scheme, involving fake merchandise with a retail value of more than $200 million, was one of the largest smuggling operations ever discovered, the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan said.
    The charges, revealed yesterday in a complaint issued in Federal District Court in Manhattan, followed a weeklong investigation in which an undercover customs agent posed as a longshoremen’s union official and took nearly $500,000 in bribes to let the illegal shipments pass through the Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal in New Jersey.
    The undercover agent had nearly daily contact with the smugglers, who included Irish manufacturers, a customs broker and a husband-and-wife team that owned a Brooklyn trucking company, officials said.
    While officials declined to say how the investigation started, the complaint said that in August 2007, Michael Murphy, 70, of Manhattan, approached the undercover agent and asked for his help in moving the illegal containers through the port. Mr. Murphy paid the agent $100,000 in cash bribes to smuggle about 20 containers carrying fake consumer goods with a value of more than $24 million, the complaint said.
    The apparent ease with which the containers — 40 feet long, 8 feet wide and 9 ½ feet high — were moved through the port with false bills of lading highlights frailties in the security system at the region’s ports, said Michael J. Garcia, the United States attorney in Manhattan.
    Kyle A. Hutchins, special agent in charge of the Newark office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said counterfeiting and piracy operations cost American businesses $200 billion to $250 billion a year and were often made easier by technological advances allowing the illicit reproduction of brand-name consumer goods.
    Officials said the goods shipped by the smugglers included counterfeit Coach wallets, Burberry handbags, Ralph Lauren (which apparently smells like pee) Baby spat clothing and Nike Air Jordan sneakers. Some of the sneaker shipments were listed on manifests as “refrigerated noodles,” the complaint said.
    Typically, officials said, one of the smugglers made contact with the undercover agent to ease passage of the shipments through the port with a bribe; the smuggler also employed a customs broker, identified by the authorities as Robin Huff, 46, of Brooklyn, to monitor the status of inspections of the shipments using an electronic cargo database.

  • realst

    All of the defendants were expected to plead not guilty at arraignments either yesterday or today.
    Once the shipments passed through the port, the complaint said, the trucking firm luxery Express Inc., of Brooklyn, helped transport them around the New York metropolitan region. Mr.Fuckofficass said the fake merchandise was intended to be sold in stores, not on the street. No one answered the phone yesterday at a number listed for Luxery Express.
    If convicted of charges of trafficking in counterfeit goods, each defendant faces a maximum sentence of 35 years in prison and a maximum fine of either $2.5 million or twice the gross gain from his or her participation in the scheme, whichever is greater.
    As part of the investigation, federal customs agents searched a house in New Jersey, a Manhattan office suite used by Mr. Murphy, a house in Brooklyn listed as the office for Luxery Express and another office in Brooklyn. Two trucks and $800,000 in cash were seized. Officials said all monies involved were then used in the purchase of 150,000 Du-Pint kevlar/Bio syn full size body suits (all seconds) and Fukofficass there after assist in the illegal importation of all into Irland.
    At going to press
    Mr Kill-patrick from the ARA confirmed that he had decided to turn a blind eye at this point after interviewing Mr Murphy (suspect).
    Mr Murphy explained that the shipment to be delivered to Ireland was a shipment of emergency aid destined for the north adding that he got a great deal buying in bulk coupled with the fact no duty would be liable because they`re Bio.
    After some pressure from Mr Kill-patrick Murphy finally caved in and began singing like a bird. The game was truly up.
    The mission of mercy was a consequence of some cop giving a straight answer to a local politician over the introduction of Taser guns or something to that effect.
    To cut a long one short (going to press) Murphy has explained he will sell them on to rioters with the slightest profit margin who will in turn have an all-over protection. To which I reminded him sales might not go so well, due to the fact that lots of the suits had bits missing including legs. No worries not a problem he says. they`ll be in big demand especially the green one`s.
    I asked curiously who the glow fire red one`s were for?
    Should have guessed his reply……………Anyone with a registered heart problem or pacemaker.
    Before i could bid this mission of mercy goodbye 2 crazy men, possibly Irish with mushrooms consumed (all the laughing`s a give away), came tearing down the street demanding 2 of the suits (1 green and 1 orange) as they`d just passed one of N.Y`s finest wearing a taser.
    Come to think of it they must have been Irish cause they were trailing a semi clad pole dancer and she looked like that singer Dana when she was a lot younger.

    And if u believe any of this you`d believe spin fein

  • Danny O’Connor

    Welcome to the real world.An honest debate on giving police officers a non lethal force option is needed.I am not sure of what type of equipment this should be however, in a situation where resonable force is needed ,the safety of the officer is certainly equal to that of the other person.do you let a suspect attack an armed officer and leave them the choice of lethal force or do nothing and end up getting shot with their own gun.Orde is personally responsible for the safety of his officers-consequently this decision.That is why we all need a debate around all the other non-lethal options.

  • againstthehead

    how about sending some of the human rights people on patrol in the city centre on a sat night, let them police a contentious parade or deal with a ‘peaceful protest’….

    Realistically, if you’re behavin urself u should be in with a good chance of not getting tasered. And if you do – what are the statistics on injury rates/deaths?

  • runciter

    Proponents of tasers are keen to imply that they are only used as a last-resort alternative to deadly force. The evidence from countries where tasers have been adopted shows that this assumption is nonsense.

    The fact that they are perceived to be ‘non-lethal’ encourages their abuse. These weapons have become a tool of intimidation and, on occasion, torture.

    http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/story/0,22049,22814674-5001028,00.html?from=public_rss

    Documented examples of abuse include a guy who was tasered for arguing about a speeding ticket, someone else who was tasered for shouting at a conference, another person who was tasered by the English police for falling into a diabetic coma on a bus. Particularly memorable is the recent example (caught on video) of the Polish man who was killed by taser-happy police at Vancouver airport.

    According to Amnesty International, in the US alone, about 275 people have died after being tasered.

    Of course, Taser International claims that the deaths that have occurred immediately after the person is shot with the Taser are not caused by the Taser. At the same time their website has pages of warnings about all the medical risks associated with being shot by a Taser (such as an increased risk of heart attack).

    Orde’s contempt for public concerns – and the advice of the Policing Board – on this issue is beyond disgraceful.

  • Redhaze

    I agree runciter.

    Precisely because they are deemed less lethal, they have been ritually abused by police forces across the globe.

    The one in Vancouver was particularly sad. The Polish man had arrived in Canada to visit family. He had become slightly distressed and being unable to speak a word of english. The answer he received was a good tasering. There were (according to who you listen too) around four to five RCMP (Canadian Federal police) and a number of security guards. They were all barking orders to a man who could not speak english and in his frustration he was reported by the police to have raised a stapler in a threatening manner. So he was tasered numerous times. One witness who had been there the whole time and had tried to help the man before he was murdered said that the Canadian police now speak to languages – english and taser.

    Tasers are increasingly used as an alternative to police getting dirty, sweaty, or ruffled.

    This is the point. Only the cases where people are killed are reported. Rarely will the cases where someone has been violated by these things be reported.

    In the hands of the cops here? I shudder to think what lays ahead if these thigns are put int eh hands of a force with such a horribel record of sectrarianism, violence and human rights abuses.

  • nmc

    I know this has been touched on before but how exactly do they do an equality impact assessment on a tazer? Serious question.

  • Rory

    Although the arguments for and against the deployment of such weaponry might appear, on the surface, to stem from tactical or political considerations such a belief might well be touchingly naive.

    Witness the late campaign of concern in the British press for the plight of the poor British squaddie, valiantly risking life and limb on behalf of US capital, while his family at home are forced to live in sub-standard accomodation.
    Touched by such an outburst of concern the government responds by splurging £5bn. to remedy the situation by improving the accomodation. But how is this £5bn to be best used?

    Well we know that 40% of it will “go on rents to Annington Homes, the firm that bought the houses in a deal with Tory Defence Minister, Michael Portillo, in 1996.

    But who, or what is Annington?

    The company is run by a finance house called Terra Firma Capital of which Lord Owen (formerly Gang of 4, David Owen) who runs the UK National Defence Association (sic) which lobbies for more defence spending, is an adviser to Terra Firma. Other big names working for Terra Firma – and hence profiting from army rents- include Tony Blair’s old adviser Lord Birt (not much missed at the BBC) and the Shadow Foreign Secretary, William Hague.”

    Most deals on military, police and security spending are doled out using a similar method of dispensation of directorships and consultancies to ministers, junior ministers and senior civil servants (upon their retirement of course – the proprieties you know) by the armament and security industry who buy the necessary spin to support the claims for their product in the all too friendly or criminally docile and compliant press. And it really doesn’t matter if it’s submarines or sausages, automatic weapons or arsewipes, or Tasers for zapping the citizenry or Tizer for quenching the zappers’ thirst – just so long as there’s mega-bucks at the end of the day for Hawker-Siddeley or Hunting plc and most especially reward for those in government that had the good sense to recognise the superiority of their product for the protection of the nation (i.e. big profits) or maintaining order (more big profits) among the troubled masses.

  • realst

    They`re looking for people to particapate in upcoming trials to be held at Antrim Custidy Suite preferbly catholic aged between 7 & 90

  • sevenmagpies

    “Precisely because they are deemed less lethal, they have been ritually abused by police forces across the globe.”

    Exactly. I remember a documentary about non-lethal and less-lethal technologies a few years ago which presented the argument that states only develop and use these kinds of technologies so they can control and oppress people more easily without the bad publicity of dead bodies to worry about (so much).

    Here’s an idea, citizens. What if the state simply implants a shock-generation unit in every person and every child at birth? Cops or other officials can then trigger it as and when necessary; when things kick off, when you won’t move your car, when you haven’t paid child support, when you won’t answer the questions …

    If you keep your nose clean you’ll be all right. If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear. Peace in our time. Doubleplusgood.

  • eranu

    why are nationalists always against anything that would help the police fight criminals? are you all still stuck in that ‘anti everything’ mindset from the 20th century?
    anytime a policeman uses his gun to stop a bad guy or rams some thieves off the road all you get from nationalists is attacks on the police. How dare they hurt that criminal! nothing about the scumbags they’ve just stopped. amazing.

    personally i hope every scumbag law breaker gets their ass tasered off at every opportunity. if it was me id be zapping them down the street to prison.

    theres no point highlighting incidents where innocent people have been injured or killed. its acceptable losses. a few deaths should not stop an effective weapon being used to fight criminals. listing accidental deaths as a reason not to use tasers is like wanting to ban cars because people are killed by them every year. all acceptable losses to get you where you want to go, or to put a scumbag on his ass.

  • kensei

    “theres no point highlighting incidents where innocent people have been injured or killed. its acceptable losses. a few deaths should not stop an effective weapon being used to fight criminals. listing accidental deaths as a reason not to use tasers is like wanting to ban cars because people are killed by them every year. all acceptable losses to get you where you want to go, or to put a scumbag on his ass.”

    Fuck. I hate living in a jurisdiction without a robust written Constitution.

  • Burger me

    Fantastic!

    Some of the posters here seem to be completely conversant with section 88 use of force legislation, furthermore, were eyewitnesses to recent tazer incidents across the globe! How else could you comment so passionately on the issue?

    Hugh Orde will deploy the taser in SPECIALIST units, they will not be rolled out across the beat and patrol officers, unlike America. Currently if you threaten someone with a knife in NI, officers have little option but to point a 9mm pistol at you. The Taser will provide a less lethal option.

    What is the problem with that? Officers have to justify their use of force, if the cant the ombudsman investigates and they are likely to use their jobs.

  • eranu

    ken, you were mentioned on Heros the other night, did you see it?

  • sevenmagpies

    “I hate living in a jurisdiction without a robust written Constitution.”

    Do they ever stop governments from doing exactly as they please?

  • Rory

    “Do they ever stop governments from doing exactly as they please? (written constitutions)”

    Nope. Thet do not, Seven, but they do remind a citizen to be ever vigilant in their protection. And sometimes citizens do need reminding….and in turn to remind the government, forcefully if necessary.

  • Redhaze

    Burger me,

    Who said they were eye witnesses to tazer incidents across the globe?

    You say Orde will only deploy the tasers to specialist units, well that’ll diminish the use of tasers, at least in theory. Often what is used in policing for ‘specialist units’ becomes standard armoury. The cops will without doubt begin to question why some officers have this protection whilst others don’t.

    Those in the non-specialist units will have to make do with the 9mm weapons, how re-assuring.

  • Aquifer

    Some Paisleyites tried to invade Stormont once. Dogs were very effective in holding them back. Riots could be a bit hard on dogs though.

  • Intelligence Insider

    I am 100% against the use of tasers, I honestly believe that lead bullets should always be used against people rioting against the police.

  • sevenmagpies

    “Nope. They do not, Seven, but they do remind a citizen to be ever vigilant in their protection. And sometimes citizens do need reminding….and in turn to remind the government, forcefully if necessary.”

    Having a piece of paper or not makes no difference in the absence of an informed, active and engaged populace. Doesn’t matter how basic human rights are outlined if people won’t even bother to stand up.

  • kensei

    “Having a piece of paper or not makes no difference in the absence of an informed, active and engaged populace. Doesn’t matter how basic human rights are outlined if people won’t even bother to stand up.”

    Well aside from making fundamental rights clear, it does empower the Supreme Court to strike down any law which violates constitutional rights. There may be a delay between enactment and the law being struck down but they almost always are, eventually.

    So, yes, I believe that a Republican form of government with a written Constitution and separation of powers is preferable to an unwritten hodge podge.

  • Burger me

    Red haze,
    My point in relation to the “eyewitness” business is that most posters know little or nothing of the incidents they describe. No insight into the situation, history of the suspect, circumstances, tactical options, the list goes on. Without these, going by what you see on youtube or read in the press is a poor guide to arrive at a well informed decision.

    The fact of the matter is that taser deaths are largely due to drug induced “agitated delirium” leading to heart attacks.

    The specialist units using the new taser are likely to be the “ARV” rapid response units due to be rolled out later this year, not, as I have said, standard uniform officers. As for your comment,
    “Often what is used …[in] ‘specialist units’ becomes standard armoury”. Quite simply my man, your talking crap. Uniform officers have access to the Glock pistol, baton and CS incapacitant spray. The list of specialist equipment is immense.

    “The cops will without doubt begin to question why some officers have this protection whilst others don’t.” Simple, because they wont be trained to use it. Thats the whole idea behind the new ARV units, they will take on situations normal response officers can’t.

  • runciter

    My point in relation to the “eyewitness” business is that most posters know little or nothing of the incidents they describe.

    Are you suggesting that only first hand evidence is valid?

    Or are you introducing spurious points to muddy the waters?

    The fact of the matter is that taser deaths are largely due to drug induced “agitated delirium” leading to heart attacks.

    Please provide an independent source for this claim.

    Thats the whole idea behind the new ARV units, they will take on situations normal response officers can’t.

    Which opponent of Tasers suggested that it would be ok if only “specialists” received them?

    In any case, Orde has made it clear that he doesn’t care what the rest of us think – so the point is moot.

  • Mark McGregor

    That’s crazy logic. The ordinary cop is running around tooled up and we are meant to believe they’ll call for Tazer support. A Tazer Response Unit?

    Pull the other one, this is a trial run before rolling out to the entire force. Then they’ll all have a gun, CS gas, a Tazer and a baton.

    How many more ways to kill people do these violence junkies need?