30 Oct 2008

Solomons speaker backs plans to rearm police

5:03 pm on 30 October 2008

The speaker of the Solomon Islands Parliament says it is time for the police force to be re-armed.

Sir Peter Kenilorea was speaking to the Foreign Relations Committee, which is reviewing the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands.

Solomon Islands Police were disarmed soon after the arrival of RAMSI in 2003.

Sir Peter says it is time to trust the police again, and give them the equipment they need to do their jobs.

"There are people who are still very edgy about having our police officers armed. I can quite understand that because five years ago the police force who were in possession of arms and were not using them properly. But five years have gone by and it's time in my view we begin to trust them as part of the capacity building that is going on in the presence of RAMSI."

Sir Peter Kenilorea says it would be a slow gradual process, done in consultation with RAMSI.