26/11/2010

North's Police Fire Shot To Quell Trouble

The NI police have fire a shot to halt a Co Armagh fracas - with two men arrested at the scene.

The circumstances behind the single shot being fired by a police officer during the disturbance in Portadown is now to be investigated.

The incident took place in the Obins Street area shortly after 8.30pm on Thursday and saw two men arrested after the trouble broke out.

The pair, aged 36 and 51-years-of-age were detained, but there are no reports of any injuries at this stage.

The shooting is now being investigated by the Police Ombudsman, in line with 'normal protocol' and they have issued an appeal for witnesses.

SDLP Policing spokesperson Dominic Bradley MLA told the BBC today: "The use of police weapons is always a serious matter, but one of the greatest benefits of the Patten policing reforms has been independent investigation of shooting incidents to avoid any dispute about circumstances.

"This has made a great contribution to the establishment of confidence in policing.

"Every time a police weapon is fired, whether by accident or design, the weapon concerned and all the case information are immediately handed over to the independent office of the Ombudsman for investigation.

"When the Ombudsman's report is available we will be in a better position to evaluate the full significance of this incident," he said.

(BMcC/GK)

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