Shoot for thrills

The PSNI no longer use plastic baton rounds, they now use Attenuated Energy Projectiles (AEPs). Unlike previous baton rounds, AEPs are designed to be fired directly at people and aren’t ‘meant’ to bounce before impact. Within British Policing Guidelines (via West Mercia, if the PSNI have them online I can’t find them) they are not permitted as a general crowd control device and should only be fired at clearly identified individuals presenting an immediate threat that cannot be dealt with by other tactical options.

The AEP has not been designed for use as a crowd control technology but has been designed for use as a less lethal option in situations where officers are faced with individual aggressors whether such aggressors are acting on their own or as part of a group.

The AEP may be deployed in a variety of operational situations, however the objective will remain the same. The AEP is intended for use as an accurate and discriminating projectile, designed to be fired at individual aggressors.

In the event of it becoming necessary to use an AEP in a public order situation this must be restricted to use against clearly identified individuals who are presenting a threat which must be countered and other tactical options available for countering the threat posed are considered inappropriate in the circumstances

I’m sure the Ombudsman’s office will be investigating why this PSNI officer decided to climb on the roof of an armoured jeep to get a shot off at someone behind a building instead of taking the ‘tactical option’ of maybe moving the few feet away from whatever danger was there.

How far exactly could an individual throw something from behind a building that demands going for the shot instead of moving a little bit? As you hear on the audio the PSNI got the hit instead of stepping back a few feet.

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  • spige

    After watching aerial pictures of the various missiles being rained down on the PSNI I thought they acted ok. 2 hit by plastic bullets, scores of cops injured, one cleaned by a breeze block. Personally, I blame King Billy.

  • Mark McGregor


    The UTV segment was from much earlier in the day, just as trouble started and as the guidelines linked note:

    “It must be recognised that the use of a kinetic energy device in a situation of public disorder may have a profound impact on crowd dynamics with implications for public safety and order.”

    So jumping on the roof of a jeep to fire one off instead of moving back just a few feet could seem like a willful disregard of ‘crowd dynamics’ and the PSNI either being poorly trained or disregarding how starting to shoot at a hostile crowd will enflame a situation further.

  • Given the dissidents are intellectually, ideologically and morally bankrupt is it not time to use ridicule

    Any political satirists out there?

  • joeCanuck

    Mark, that video told us very little. Old saying: believe half of what you see and nothing of what you hear. Let’s wait for the Ombudsman’s report before announcing the verdict.

  • padraig

    To be honest as a Republican who remembers very well the Orange Shennanigans of the Orange RUC the PSNI seem to be well under control in fact I am a little flummoxed watching them. I doubt if in a similiar situation I would keep my cool so well.

  • Comrade Stalin

    padraig, I’m even more surprised they have a video tape of something without managing to lose it.

    Suspect the effort to film the riot while holding back was a deliberate attempt to provoke public debate about exactly how riots like this should be stopped. ACC Finlay’s comments may have been a part of that.

  • joeCanuck

    Rioters should not be allowed to do their deeds without challenge otherwise everything breaks down. Nobody would have respect for authority.
    Yes, tactics can be debated but we cannot give the forces of darkness and their dupes a free hand.

  • Didlee D O’Squat

    Of course why did the PSNI not employ the ‘Run Away’ Tactic? I’m sure if the police had only moved “a few feet away” the riot would have been over in the blink of an eye. I mean it’s not like the republican rioters would have thought about moving a few feet to follow the cops, as they already had shown a willingness to at Brompton Park.

    ‘Although Tactical Options are represented as Graduated Flexible Responses across the Use of Force Spectrum Bronze Commanders are not required to utilise each option in turn. The operational environment will determine the most appropriate available Tactical Option……there is no value in deploying a Tactical Option that is deemed likely to fail due to the prevailing circumstances.’

  • marlaghman

    Police score own goal in knocking coping stones onto their female officer

  • Phil Free

    Move where exactly? Soley based on that clip, they were holding a line, while being attacked from the side. I’m sorry, I feel little sympathy for any brick or petrol bomb lobbing spied that got hit by a ‘AEP’ in such circumstances.

    And yes your google research is correct, baton rounds have been redesigned to be fired directly at the intended targets. Its intention is to prevent the death of anymore more people out buying a pint of milk.

  • padraig

    ‘we cannot give the forces of darkness and their dupes a free hand.’

    Ha! Ha! The simplicity of Star Wars and Dath Vader brought to potical debate. Perhaps we should arm the PSNI with those wonderful laser swords to zap the rioters.

    What a riot! (about a riot)

  • bigchiefally

    I bet many other police forces in the world who were attacked like the PSNI have been in the last few days would have abandoned plastic bullets a long time ago and started using real ones.

  • padraig

    Flog, ’em shoot, ’em ,hang, ’em.

    Give me a toot on the Old Orange Fkute.