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Plastic Bullets

Volume 14: debated on Thursday 3 December 1981

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asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what type of investigation was undertaken into the possibility of an excessive use of plastic bullets in May of the current year; and if he will publish the findings in the Official Report.

[pursuant to his reply, 2 December 1981]: The Chief Constable and the General Officer Commanding closely monitor the use of baton rounds by their respective forces and no special investigation was considered necessary.The number of baton rounds fired in May must be seen in the context of the widespread and severe disorder earlier this years during which the security forces had to defend themselves against attack by mobs armed with stones and with petrol and other bombs, and to protect property and prevent confrontation between rival groups. I am satisfied that in these conditions the security forces had to resort to the use of baton rounds to prevent serious loss of life and widespread destruction of property. Allegations of the misuse of baton rounds and all instances of injury allegedly caused by them are thoroughly investigated and the papers referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland.