9 Dec 2002

Special constables in Solomon Islands get allowances after violent protest

5:19 pm on 9 December 2002

Special constables in Solomon Islands, who last week trashed police offices and stole goods from a store, supposedly in protest at the non-payment of allowances, have now been granted the money.

The constables had claimed allowances for their involvement in a police disarmament exercise earlier this year, called Operation Pispol.

The special constables vented their anger over the non payment by smashing up an office in the police ministry, and breaking the windows on a vehicle parked outside.

The next day they took goods from an adjacent shop.

The acting police commissioner John Homelo says both incidents are under investigation.

After the apparent protests, the Cabinet on Friday met to consider the issue and agreed that the men would get the money.

Mr Homelo says the men were entitled to the allowance, though before Operation Pispol began they had been told the allowance would not be paid.

"during the operation they are facing alot of armed conflict with those who still hold onto arms so they think they should be compensated for that by a sixty dollar allowance on those duties"

Acting Solomon Islands police commissioner John Homelo.

He says a UNDP funded exercise to decommission the special constables is expected to get under way next month and take about six months.

Mr Homelo says the two officers wounded on the Weather Coast are recovering.