10 Mar 2008

Nauru rejects media reports that it used under-age police recruits during unrest

5:50 pm on 10 March 2008

The Nauru government says media reports claiming under aged people had been deputised to help police during unrest on the island last Friday are baseless.

Nauru's acting Police Minister, Mathew Batsiua, says hundreds volunteered to help keep the situation under control after the main police station was damaged and reports that a disgruntled group planned further disruption.

But he says these people were screened.

Mr Batsuia says the island has a reserve force available to police in the event of an emergency or threat.

He says the call for additional personnel went out when the threats were made on Friday afternoon, but the screening process precluded anyone under 18 being involved, and the Government believes this was strictly adhered to.

Mr Batsuia says police were overwhelmed by the response from the public after threats from what he says is a relatively small number of troublemakers.