3 Oct 2006

Unemployed youths blamed for rise in violent crime in Solomons capital

7:42 am on 3 October 2006

Unemployed youth from a Honiara squatter settlement are being blamed for a surge in violent crime in parts of the Solomon Islands capital.

At the weekend two expatriate couples were attacked in their homes.

One woman was also raped while her husband was held at knife point.

Police say the Taiwanese Technical Assistance Centre has also been targetted.

Commissioner Shane Castles says the crimes are opportunistic but the escalation is a concern.

He says they have made 12 arrests of young people from the Burns Creek squatter settlement in East Honiara.

Commissioner Castles says it is a sympton of a much larger problem.

"These young children, young boys, are not attending school, there is little or no parental control exercised over them. They are roaming the street, roaming the bush, going to private property in the darkness of night to rob people, to get money, to steal property and convert it to cash."