Police Warned Public to Avoid Riots

RSIPF maintains high visibility patrols in Honiara and Guadalcanal Province

ROYAL Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) advised members of the public to avoid any rioting as it is a crime.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Crime and Intelligence Ian Vaevaso said, “We are investigating cases of more than 60 people allegedly involved in the disturbance last week in Honiara, and so far 59 people who are currently in custody at the Rove Correctional Service Solomon Islands Centre in relation to the disturbances following the following the election of the new Prime Minister.”

“Our investigation into the disturbance last week in Honiara is continuing and more people will be located for questioning and possibly face charges,” said ACP Vaevaso.

ACP Vaevaso explained: “The charges that these accused persons facing are serious with penalties, if found guilty, ranging from one year to life imprisonment.”

He added: “We are looking at some of the provisions from the Penal Code including sections 73 – 82 as we gather evidence to prosecute the cases. At the same time we are looking at other sections including 178, 191-194, 319, 320, 326 & 331 of the same Code, as alternative preferred charges in consultation with the Office of the Director Public Prosecution (ODPP). Police is asking members of the public not to get involved in any riot as this crime is well covered in various sections of the Penal Code.”

“Riot is defined in section 73 of the Penal Code as when an unlawful assembly has begun to execute the purpose for which it is assembled by a breach of the peace and to the terror of the public. The assembly is called a riot, and the persons assembled are said to be riotously assembled.”

“I appeal to members of the public including those in Honiara and Guadalcanal Province to play an important role to help spread the message to our people, relatives and friends to avoid any future riot. Such behaviour will only affect the lives of our people and essential services in our capital city,” said ACP Vaevaso.

“There are legal avenues available for people to voice their concerns on matters affecting their lives other than taking to the streets and breaking our laws. I encourage members of the public to resort to these legal means,” ACP Vaevaso emphasised.