1 Aug 2003

Solomons police keeping an eye on return of stolen property

11:59 am on 1 August 2003

The Solomon Islands police commissioner, Bill Morrell, says police

will have to compensate victims whose property they stole, if it is returned damaged.

The victims of thefts during the ethnic unrest have had items returned this week, including a car yard which got back four once brand new 4-wheel drives which police had used for the past 3 years.

Mr Morrell says it is a difficult situation because of the age of some of the stolen goods but officers have been ordered to return items.

"If it has deteriorated in the three years since it was stolen, then it's their job to make rcompense to the owners. I think that's the best way to deal with it. We've got a lot of other priorities to deal with in the first instance, but I think if people, after that period of time, complain to us then we'll be following it up."