Acting Solomons police commissioner denies split in force
The acting Solomons police commissioner denies there's a split within the force.
The acting commissioner of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force, Juanita Matanga, denies that the force is split over the departure of the former commissioner John Lansley.
Mr Lansley's tenure finished at the start of the month, after less than a year in the job and under circumstances that have not been made clear.
The Solomon Star newspaper is reporting a split along with a threat from the Senior and Subordinates Police Officers Association of a 14-day sit-in protest if a new commissioner is not appointed within three months.
But Ms Matanga told Annell Husband the association's members are sworn officers who have given her an assurance that they will continue to do their job.
MATANGA: Regardless of whatever is coming out from different media outlets, we really respect their views. On the other hand, we make sure that whatever is reported is consistent and accurate so that our people, and in particular the communities in the Solomon Islands, are properly briefed. And that's why I'm coming out to explain to you so that everyone knows that we are consistent in our work. And policing is not split, policing is not divided. We continue to maintain our standards as police officers. We are here to do work and our job is to ensure that our community lives in safety and harmony.
HUSBAND: Was there a request put forward for Mr Lansley's contract to be extended by three months so that there could be a proper hand-over to the next commissioner?
MATANGA: The police organisation is not responsible for that. Our job is to do our job. Whatever the commissioner's job, it's a matter for the political and the police and services commission to deliberate on it. And I'm not going to dwell on that. And that's why I'm not going to comment about the job of the police commissioner.
HUSBAND: When I spoke with Mr Lansley last year, he was very optimistic about the police's future and said there'd been a lot of progress. There was still work to be done, but basically the force was in good shape. What do you think?
MATANGA: It's just like in any country. You still have challenges in policing. I'm not saying that policing is not facing any challenge, we do have a lot of challenge. And that's what we are saying, that we are continuing to maintain our work as police officers. When you mention about the transition, the PPF will continue to be here. It's the other component that has been the transition in progress. But the participating police forces still maintain its work in the Solomon Islands, as well. So we were going to continue to work together with the PPF to ensure that those transitions are consistent with what we would like to see in the police force. And we are working together in everyday discussion. We know what we are doing and we maintain that understanding. And I don't see any issue that's associated with the transition.
To embed this content on your own webpage, cut and paste the following: