5 Oct 2007

THE decision by PSNI Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde to introduce Tasers into Northern Ireland must be reversed said Children’s Commission, Patricia Lewsley.

Ms Lewsley said her office had challenged their introduction in correspondence and meetings with the Policing Board and the PSNI.

“I am extremely disappointed that Taser will soon be in operation on Northern Ireland’s streets,” said the Commissioner.

Ms Lewsley said she is concerned that these weapons may be used against children.

“My worry is that Taser is a potentially lethal weapon, when used against children,” she said. 

“As such the PSNI should have carried out a full equality impact assessment and a medical assessment of the risks to children and other vulnerable groups.”

The Commissioner said she believed the Chief Constable may be in breach of the human rights advice he has received from the Policing Board, and may be in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights.

“Given Sir Hugh Orde’s decision, I am considering what action my office may take.”