MEP attacks Policing Board authorisation for drones

The Northern Ireland Policing Board has come under attack by an MEP for “authorising the purchase and deployment of military-style drones to spy on peaceful protesters at the G8 summit.”

Paul Murphy, Socialist Party MEP for Dublin claimed “it was unforgivable of the political parties represented on the Policing Board to support the purchase of military-style drones which will be used against ordinary people taking part in peaceful protests. The door has now been opened for the state to use even more draconian techniques to spy on protesters.

“The development of police adopting drones is being met with opposition internationally. In February, the mayor of Seattle ordered the police to end all use of drones following public opposition. Spending almost £1million on two drones at a time when the politicians in Stormont are telling ordinary people that there is no money for schools and hospitals is an inexcusable use of public money. I call on the political representatives on the Policing Board to withdraw their support for drones and demand that the purchase of these drones is immediately stopped.”

The following politicians are members of the Policing Board:

  • Jonathan Craig, DUP
  • Ross Hussey, UUP
  • Gerry Kelly, Sinn Fein
  • Ian McCrea, DUP
  • Conall McDevitt, SDLP
  • David McIlveen,  DUP
  • Trevor Lunn, Alliance
  • Robin Newton, DUP
  • Caitriona Ruane, Sinn Fein
  • Pat Sheehan, Sinn Fein
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