Belfast Telegraph

Monday 29 December 2014

Community would back PSNI shoot-to-kill policy against dissidents, says Paisley Jnr

A police shoot-to-kill policy against dissident republican terrorists would be accepted by the community in Northern Ireland, a member of the Policing Board has claimed.

Ian Paisley Jnr said people would support the use of lethal force to wipe out the threat posed by groups such as the Real IRA.

The Democratic Unionist Assembly member's remarks come after the latest dissident attempt to murder police officers in the region.

On Saturday three Police Service of Northern Ireland officers escaped injury in a rocket attack in the Co Fermanagh border town of Lisnaskea.

Renegade republicans have been blamed for seven other murder attempts on officers in the last year.

The "shoot-to-kill" issue was highly contentious in Northern Ireland during the Troubles, with the police and British Army, in particular the SAS, accused of implementing it in their efforts to combat terrorism.

Mr Paisley claimed people would now accept it as necessary to finally crush the dissident threat.

"Sooner or later there will be a murder of a police officer unless the police are able to deploy ruthlessness in tracking down and wiping out these dissident members," said the North Antrim MLA.

"I believe the community will accept such measures and if dissidents are shot on sight, the community will accept that it is a necessary use of lethal force to prevent dissident republicanism from growing."

SDLP policing board member Dolores Kelly described Mr Paisley's remarks as "dangerous nonsense".

"It is difficult to think of anything which would serve the dissident cause better than a shoot-to-kill policy," she said.

"It is also disturbing that we have anyone involved in policing at any level who can't work that out for himself."

Police chiefs have revealed that the explosives used in Saturday's rocket attack contained Semtex originally owned by the Provisional IRA.

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