Booby trap bomb mirrors 'not enough'
- DUP Policing Board member Jimmy Spratt says the mirrors, which have been distributed to police officers to check for under-car booby trap bombs, are "ineffective and a waste of money."
Tuesday, 17 August 2010
Since January, extendable hand held mirrors have been distributed among police officers.
There are now plans to offer them to senior politicians and public figures to protect potential targets against the dissident republican threat.
In a statement, the Northern Ireland Office confirmed it will offer booby trap indicator mirrors to individuals whose houses are protected under the Home Protection Scheme, describing the move as precautionary.
But Mr Spratt, a former police officer - who checks his car every morning for under-car booby trap bombs - says mirrors are not effective enough.
"It doesn't make me feel any safer. There is absolutely no alternative whatsoever to actually getting down on your knees and looking underneath a vehicle", Mr Spratt told UTV.
"I would urge young police officers to disregard the mirrors and to actually get down and to look underneath. There is nothing more effective than doing that."
Last week, a device partially exploded under the car of a PSNI civilian worker who was driving to Cookstown police station.
Earlier this month, viable devices were also planted under the cars of an Army major and a policewoman in separate incidents in Co Down but failed to explode.
Mr Spratt says more stringent security measures should be implemented for people at risk.
"The Chief Constable must be provided with all of the resources necessary to try and combat this present campaign and that is incumbent on Government to make sure that finance, to make sure that manpower and that all resources possible are available for Government to allow the Chief Constable and the senior management team to do what they need to do," Mr Spratt said.
The dissident threat level has been assessed as "severe" since February 2009, one below "critical".
PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggott has repeatedly said he has been given all the necessary resources to tackle the dissident threat.
© UTV News