Police refuse to supply any further information about the firearm incident

The RGP have become tight-lipped when it comes to supplying more information on the firearm incident at Police headquarters.

Following on from their remark about the ‘malfunction of the safety device’ at the armoury, we asked them two valid and relevant questions:

• How does this safety device works, and what exactly was the malfunction?

• Was the shrapnel which injured the officer embedded in his body, and if so when was it removed? (that is, was it removed immediately at the hospital or was he asked to return at a later date?)

But the RGP came back saying that they are "not making any further comment on the matter."

As any member of the public will realise, we are not asking for any 'comment' but for factual information to clarify exactly what went wrong in the police armoury.

There was a malfunction of a so-called 'safety device' used to unload weapons, causing a piece of shrapnel from a discharged bullet to escape from the so-called 'safety device' which went on to hit the leg of a police officer, who was rushed to hospital.

The RGP say the police officer was treated in hospital and allowed to leave. But it would have been useful to know, in the interests of accuracy and in order to complete the picture, if that entailed the complete treatment or if the person was asked to return another day. Was the shrapnel embedded in his leg?

Such a firearm incident is not commonplace. It is potentially dangerous. It hit the police officer in the leg but it could have hit him somewhere else, possibly in a part of the body that may be considered to be more vulnerable. It is a serious matter, so the public will ask why it is that the RGP becomes so defensive, going on a mute mode?

What is wrong with supplying further general information about this serious incident, because the malfunctioning of a so-called 'safety devide' can only be deemed to be a serious matter.

What about the so-called 'safety device', how safe is it? Is this a new piece of equipment or is it old? Is it up to the latest standards or is it out of date? And if it is out of date, should they continue using it? Can they guarantee that it will not happen again?

Surely, they put the safety of their own officers top of the list. If that is the case, as indeed it must be,then why not provide further factual information that would help to allay any fears that may exist within and outside the RGP?

And why cannot they say if the injured police officer was treated exclusively on the day the firearm incident happened or if there was subsequent treatment? It is by remaining silent that they could be doing a public disservice.

And had PANORAMA not disclosed that the incident had happened, would the RGP have volunteered the information and issued a press statement?

18-03-10



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