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Rubber Bullets

Volume 32: debated on Thursday 25 November 1982

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25.

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will ensure that in Northern Ireland only rubber, rather than plastic bullets are used, and that their use is permitted only if expressly ordered by a senior officer.

No. The plastic baton rounds currently available to the security forces in Northern Ireland are more suited to the circumstances than the rubber baton rounds they replaced.The use of baton rounds is governed by clearly defined instructions issued by the chief constable and the general officer commanding, and they strictly monitor their use to ensure that these instructions are complied with. It is not the Government's practice to disclose detailed operational instructions used by the security forces in Northern Ireland.