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.”