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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 September, 2004, 12:22 GMT 13:22 UK
Fortifications 'to be removed'
SDLP pressed the chief constable to speed up normalisation
Chief Constable Hugh Orde plans to remove heavy fortification from up to 17 police stations, the SDLP has said.

The party's Alex Attwood said Mr Orde confirmed the move on Thursday and that it would proceed if given financial backing by the Northern Ireland Office.

He said anti-rocket fencing and sangar security posts will be torn down as part of new moves to normalise security arrangements.

Mr Attwood said Mr Orde also told the delegation some demilitarisation could be accelerated.

Mr Attwood said: "The chief constable confirmed to us there was now a proposal around 17 police stations.

"It's being put to the NIO for funding and it's a matter for them to release the money.

It means there are opportunities that should now be quickly grasped around Army numbers, Army bases, joint bases and police stations
Alex Attwood
SDLP

"The party pressed the chief constable to speed up normalisation in the north. The security situation already justifies this. Overdue developments by paramilitaries would further help this argument.

"The chief constable accepted that there were things the police 'could do quicker', this was positive and should mean progress.

"It means there are opportunities that should now be quickly grasped around Army numbers, Army bases, joint bases and police stations."

Mr Attwood also raised the issue of plastic baton rounds with Mr Orde.

The SDLP has called on the chief constable to withdraw the weapon from the PSNI.

Mr Attwood said the time was right to rule out the use of plastic bullets.




SEE ALSO:
Police station plans 'premature'
25 Sep 04  |  Northern Ireland
SF 'criminalised by government'
09 May 04  |  Northern Ireland
Paramilitaries 'named and shamed'
20 Apr 04  |  Northern Ireland
SF 'to fight terror monitors'
27 Apr 04  |  Northern Ireland



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