10 Jan 2014

Solomons concert riot costs police almost US$140,000

6:12 pm on 10 January 2014

The Solomon Islands acting police commissioner says the cost to the force of unrest around this week's Julian Marley concert is almost 140,000 US dollars.

Juanita Matanga told the Solomon Star about five police vehicles and other resources were damaged during a violent clash between officers and hundreds of young people on Wednesday.

She says more than 200 officers were deployed to deal with those involved, who also laid roadblocks in the eastern part of the capital Honiara, with 44 arrests so far.

Ms Matanga says what happened was not a riot but charges being laid against those responsible include causing riot.

"Assaulting police officers, we will charge them for criminal assembly, we will charge them for riotous behaviour, so we are looking at more than seven charges against each individual."

Juanita Matanga says there was no reason for the disturbance other than pure criminal behaviour.