[Sinn Fein]

6th January 2003

PSNI arming with weapons of repression

Sinn Fein MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone Michelle Gildernew has accused the PSNI of `arming themselves with all available weapons of repression'. Ms. Gildernew's comments come after demands from the PSNI Chief Hugh Orde to be allowed to fire CS Gas. Ms. Gildernew said:

``Since the formation of the PSNI the current Policing Board has presided over the issuing of a new and more lethal plastic bullet. Now it is reported that they are to be lobbied by Huge Orde to be allowed to fire CS Gas.

``To many within the nationalist community who have direct experience of the PSNI and their predecessors in the RUC this development is undoubtedly worrying.

``The vast majority of PSNI members have exempted themselves from the Human Rights oath and those who abused Human Rights in the past moved en-block into the new force. With this sort of background and make-up it is not surprising therefore that the PSNI is continuing to arm itself with all available weapons of resistance.''

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