Belfast Telegraph

Police union: arm our mutual aid colleagues

By Michael McHugh

Police officers from Britain deployed to Northern Ireland should be armed, the head of the NI Police Federation has said.

Hundreds of officers were drafted in for the G8 summit of world leaders at Lough Erne, Fermanagh, in June and during the height of the violence surrounding July's parades.

Terry Spence, chairman of the Police Federation for Northern Ireland, which represents rank-and-file officers, said: "We need to have the proper training if officers are going to be deployed more frequently under mutual aid arrangements – and there seems to be an intention that this will be the case," he said. "While we clearly welcome any assistance, a proper assessment of the situation is required – and this should also involve routinely arming those deploying to Northern Ireland."

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