1 May 2002

Security group wants to be paid by Solomons government

4:05 pm on 1 May 2002

The Solomon Islands police minister has revealed that a private security group is attempting to be involved in the policing of the nation.

Benjamin Una says he believes that because of the lack of money and work, the group wants to get paid by the government to oversee national security.

Mr Una says he has not been in contact with the group but he warns that any such arrangement could not be implemented straight away.

"It is a group of security and all they want is from the government to give them powers of arrest and powers to disarm and that cannot be done in a second or two, it has to be passed by parliament and then make some implications on the issue before everything come into force."

Benjamin Una says it is currently illegal to attempt to do the work of the police.

Meanwhile the police commissioner, Morton Siriheti, says he's not aware of who is behind the efforts to get police powers.

He says he believes this is linked to private security firms.

I do not know which particular security organisation they are talking about but there has been a lot of small security organisation here, so I am not making any comment on which of these private security services are trying to implant into the police service or try to set up their own establishement.

Police commissioner Morton Siriheti.