Belfast Telegraph

PSNI reveals 32 incidents involving 'negligent discharges' of guns by officers

Police in Northern Ireland have negligently discharged weapons more than 30 times in recent years.

Guns were fir ed in police premises, at an armoury used to store guns, during training and in police vehicles.

All incidents happened between 2011 and last year.

The PSNI has around 7,000 officers and members of the force are routinely armed because of the terrorism threat.

In 2011 the Police Ombudsman said it was fortunate no one was killed or seriously injured when an officer accidentally fired a shot through the floor of a police car outside the Hydebank Young Offenders Centre.

In 2010 an officer was disciplined after accidentally firing a round from his personal protection weapon into the floor of a police Land Rover, the watchdog said.

In an FoI response the PSNI disclosed details of 32 incidents involving "negligent discharges" by officers.

They happened at police premises, a p olice vehicle in a station and at officers' home addresses.

Other locations included firearms training sessions and at an armoury used to store weapons.

The PSNI said: "Whilst the PSNI takes the discharge of police firearms very seriously, the number of incidents should be placed in context with the strength of the PSNI, which is 6,810 regular officers and 351 POPTs (Police Officer Part-Time) and the fact that the service is routinely armed."

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