Call on British Government

1st December 2004

Relatives for Justice Chairperson, and founder of the United Campaign Against Plastic Bullets, Clara Reilly has called on the British government to ‘go the extra mile’ and ban the use of plastic bullets. The call follows comments made by PSNI Chief Constable Hugh Orde who today signaled that the PSNI would not use plastic bullets if the situation improved.

Responding to Hugh Orde’s comments Clara Reilly said; ‘Hugh Orde simply reiterated the current stated position of the PSNI with regard to plastic bullets – he has said nothing new.

‘I urge the British government to go the extra mile by immediately banning these lethal weapons and discontinuing the ongoing research into other similar lethal types of weapons that are intended to replace the existing plastic bullet in the summer of 05.

‘This can be the only credible and acceptable move in terms of ensuring that human rights are up-held especially in the context of moving forward and out of conflict which saw the deaths of 17 people, including 9 school children, and thousands permanently maimed and injured by these lethal weapons.

‘I would caution against embracing these comments as a development in the current political climate. There needs to be an unambiguous statement of intend to ban plastic bullets and any intended ‘alternatives’.


Editors Notes:
The British Government reneged on a commitment given during negotiations at Hillsborough in which they stated that they would discontinue the use of plastic bullets by Christmas 03.

Rather than making a statement confirming this commitment they instead produced new guidelines on the continued use of plastic bullets.