Jane Kennedy : London Conference

Press Release 04/02/2004

Jane Kennedy to use London Conference as back door for more plastic bullets

Tomorrow the chairperson of Relatives for Justice, a support group for
survivors of state and state sponsored violence, Clara Reilly and the
group’ s Deputy Director Andree Murphy will be attending the
International Law Enforcement Forum in Royal Society of Arts, London to
raise the ongoing non-compliance by the British Government with
Patten’s recommendations re plastic bullets.

Before her departure Mrs Reilly said: “Despite last summer’s commitment
to discontinue the use of plastic bullets by Christmas, last week Jane
Kennedy released the final report of the steering group charged with
examining the issue of plastic bullets. They have recommended the
introduction of yet another new plastic bullet which will be deployed
in Summer 05. This new bullet has not passed international safety
tests, yet has been deemed appropriate for use against civilians by
this date.

“The only other option under consideration is a CS gas type of bullet
which will be aimed at individuals – this is still being developed and
it’s future is not certain.

“Jane Kennedy’s report of last week states that the only place this can
be discussed is at a “Public Forum” in London tomorrow – however this
report and its recommendations is not on the agenda of this conference.
There is no indication of how comments or issues raised in relation to
the report could be taken on board either by the NIO or the Policing
Board itself. It would appear that Jane Kennedy is using the back door
to introduce another form of this lethal weapon.

“We are however going to attempt to engage the conference in this
extremely important debate. We are also going to try to secure a formal
and inclusive consultation process around these developments.”