31 Oct 2008

No immediate police rearmament plans for Solomons Govt

5:04 pm on 31 October 2008

The Solomon Islands Government has confirmed it has no immediate plans to rearm the police force.

The Solomon Islands Police were disarmed soon after the arrival of RAMSI in 2003, but the speaker of parliment said this week it is time to trust the police again, and give them the equipment they need to do their jobs.

The minister of police, Samuel Manetoali, says the Government has no plans to re-arm.

He says certain considerations - like reconciliation between the people of Guadalcanal and the police, need to be taken before it could happen.

"If you rearm an army, that means giving them guns and weapons, but to rearm the polcie would be the arms police need in their daily duties, for example, in Solomon Islands, tear gas, handcuffs, or batons, those are the arms police need. But if it comes to the guns, then the community would not, at this stage, accept."

The Solomon Islands minister of police, Samuel Manetoali.