• March 22, 2015


BBC Scotland reports briefly on an incident involving the Civil Nuclear Police (CNC) and ‘the unintentional discharge’ of a Taser (link).


The incident took place at Hunterston nuclear power plant in the CNC police station at the site. Hunterston is one of 14 nuclear sites across Britain that the CNC police, They are also responsible for ensuring the safety of civil nuclear materials when these are in transit. Uniquely for the Britain they are an armed police force (the only other force to regularly deploy armed police, as the norm, being the PSNI). In addition the force stores considerable stocks of hollow point bullets – a munition that has been banned in warfare since the Hague convention of 1899 but strangely can be legally held by police forces in the United Kingdom.

When it comes to Tasers, thankfully less lethal than firearms, the CNC own quite a few an FOI request (not from the Celtic League) to their website reveals that over the period from 2006/7 to date 671 Tasers have been procured.

The FOI requests on the CNC website reveal very little else most information requests being covered by exemptions.

When misconduct allegations were made some years ago about the CNC we queried these with the Police Inspectorate (HMIC) but again little illuminating was forthcoming. We followed this up recently but again despite correspondence and several emails no response was received from HMIC until 24 hours ago when an email (apologised) and promised a reply.

In these dangerous times a police force like the CNC is vital (particularly in a State such as the UK with so much civil nuclear material to be secured).

However like other State bodies it needs to be accountable and, within the constraints of its remit, transparent. The accountability and transparency of the force is especially important to the Celtic countries as it secures power plants in Wales and Scotland and is also responsible for Britains nuclear ‘cess-pit’ at Sellafield which is a threat to all the Celtic countries around the Irish Sea.

We hope the HMIC do appreciate the need for scrutiny and openness of the type they apply to other police services to pertain in the case of the CNC. In case they don’t we have taken the trouble to suggest to Council of Europe organisation the CPT that it includes the CNC on its inspection remit in the United Kingdom (link).


As for the mysterious Taser event hopefully all will eventually be revealed!

J B Moffatt (Mr)

Director of Information
Celtic League


(Please note that replies to correspondence received by the League and posted on CL News are usually scanned hard copies. Obviously every effort is made to ensure the scanning process is accurate but sometimes errors do occur)


The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues

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