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AOAV to take part in ‘Action on Explosive Weapons under Big Ben’

Action on Armed Violence is to take part on the 21 April in an event at the House of Parliament in Westminster.

Parliamentarians and their staff are being invited to see the latest in UK technology and techniques in clearing explosive weapons – including an innovative mine-hunting drone – and try for themselves some of the equipment under the shadow of the Palace of Westminster.

The event will highlight the humanitarian impact of explosive weapons and the UK’s leading role in mitigating this impact.

Roger Mullin MP, Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Explosive Weapons, said of the event: “The demonstration event today is designed to bring home to my political colleagues some of the horror that explosive weapons cause to innocent people and to those whose job it is to deal with the weapons and the aftermath of their use. It is my personal belief that if politicians around the world can work together on this appalling issue, we can make a huge impact in saving people’s lives and helping lift many people out of poverty and deprivation.”

The Speaker of the House of Commons, The Rt Hon John Bercow MP, said: “It seems now that every other day we hear about some atrocious event involving a suicide bomber or IED. The incidents in Paris and Brussels are very close to home, but for people living in places like Syria, Iraq or Northern Nigeria, they are a part of daily life. The UK is at the forefront of the global effort to combat the threat of these weapons, and coping with the dreadful aftermath when these weapons do find their target. I am delighted to be able to add my support to this effort and urge my colleagues in both Houses to come and learn about this valuable work.”

At 10:15 hrs Tobias Ellwood MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Roger Mullin MP, Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Explosive Weapons, will open the event.

At 11:00 hrs Rt Hon Lindsay Hoyle MP, Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, will attend.

Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords The Lord Dear is also attending.

Participating organisations:

The HALO Trust – one of the biggest and most respected mine-action charities in the world will be demonstrating how land-mines are cleared.

Drone-Ops Ltd – a small innovative UK R&D company who have developed the first ever mine-hunting drone integrated with a Cobham Amulet will be flying their device.

Kings College London – The Centre for Robotics Research will demonstrate the sensors they have developed, which use bursts of radio waves to sense the presence of explosives. Contact +44 (0) 798 6312 440.

Blaythorne Group – an independent company providing security consultancy, training and equipment will exhibit some of the equipment and protective gear designed and made in the UK. Contact: +44 (0) 1873 810 888,

 Optima Group – a British company created to defend civilians and security forces from explosive devices.  Contact +44 (0)1793 207950

Action on Armed Violence – has a central mission: to carry out research and advocacy in order to reduce the incidence and impact of global armed violence. We define ‘armed violence’ as the intentional use of force – actual or threatened – with weapons, to cause injury, death, or psychological harm. Contact +44 (0)20 7256 9500

The Counter IED Report – The APPG’s official media partner is a specialist, subscription-based publication, which serves as an information source to communicate the latest developments in the fight against the IED threat. Contact +44 (0) 207 193 2303

Royal British Legion Centre for Blast Injuries Studies – was established in 2011 to address the disabling injuries of conflict. CBIS is comprised of the unique collaborations of civilian engineers and scientists working alongside military doctors. Contact +44 (0) 207 589 5111

For more information about this event and the work of the APPG please email Hannah Evans – hannahl.evans@parliament.uk

Press inquiries or for interviews with any of the participants please contact Nigel Ellway – nigel.ellway@parliament.uk