16 shots fired in police stations and in homes

A Glock pistol. One was discharged accidentally in a PSNI station in January.
A Glock pistol. One was discharged accidentally in a PSNI station in January.

A PSNI officer received a written warning after firing a Glock in a police station in January, the Sentinel has learned.

The incident was the sixteenth accidental discharge recorded by the PSNI since March 2011. Thirteen officers were warned over mishandling incidents in the succeeding period.

Three more officers were given advice and guidance. Officers fired shots at home, in police stations and police vehicles. Chambers were emptied into radiators, floors, walls and bedroom and kitchen furniture. There were no injuries. And in each incident just one round was discharged.

A summary of the latest incident, which occurred in a police station in January, explains: “Whilst clearing the firearm in a safe area, one round was discharged – no injuries.”

Last year, there were four incidents: two involving officers unintentionally discharging weapons at work; two involving unintentional discharges at home.

A summary of an incident in a police station in November 2013 explains: “Whilst at firearms training, officer was unloading firearm and one round discharged into the unloading bay – no injuries.”

Another incident in a PSNI station in September 2013 was described thus: “Whilst unloading firearm in vehicle, one round discharged into footwell of vehicle – no injuries.”

Meanwhile, a domestic incident in February 2013 resulted in a police officer discharging one round from a Glock Personal Protection Weapon (PPW) into a radiator.

Another domestic incident in May 2013 resulted in a round being discharged into a wall whilst an officer was carrying out “dry practice manoeuvres.”

Six incidents in total were recorded in 2012. Whilst in the period between March 2011 and January 2012 there were four incidents.

Releasing the information the PSNI commented: “Whilst the PSNI takes seriously the discharge of police firearms, the number of cases must be put into context of the overall size of the PSNI i.e. around 7300 officers at date of request and the fact that the Service is routinely armed.”