5 May 2005

Solomons Police reject firm's favouritism claim

3:18 pm on 5 May 2005

The Solomon Islands Police Commissioner, Shane Castles, says those alleging that police have taken sides in a protracted industrial dispute must come up with the evidence.

Russell Islands Plantation Estates is accusing the Royal Solomon Islands Police of taking sides in its year-long row with the National Union of Workers over management issues.

The firm's general manager, John Whiteside, says police have failed to investigate complaints and must do more.

But, Police Commissioner Castles says an assessment of the police presence at Yandina over the past several days shows there's no law and order problem.

"There is no concern from a policing perspective in respect of law and order. There is law and order, it's calm. And, when proper complaints backed up by written documentary complaints are provided to police alleging criminal activity they will be investigated."

Mr Castles says it's a difficult issue for police, who can't distinguish striking workers from non-striking workers, and managers at Yandina were unable to help.