13 May 2013

International hand suspected in Solomons police chief's exit

6:34 pm on 13 May 2013

The president of a Solomon Islands group representing the interests of people from Malaita province says the sudden departure of the former police commissioner John Lansley appears to have been orchestrated by outside interests.

The Englishman's contract expired at the start of the month after only a year in the job despite the Police and Prison Service Commission reportedly granting him a three-month extension to enable a handover to his successor.

Malaita Ma'asina Forum's Charles Dausabea says the job of police commissioner is too important and sensitive for it to have been handled as if it were just another casual role.

"You cannot tell the public that you have given him three months and then suddenly you email him in the evening and tell him that he has to pack up and go because you won't renew his contract and those things signal that there are certain influences and support behind his move so that that area can be given to somebody else."

Charles Dausabea says the way John Lansley's departure has been handled is similar to the departure of another former police commissioner from England, William Morell.