By Mike Puia
KOA Hill-Saua community yesterday apologised to the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) over the recent attack on its officers.
The apology is in relation to an incident in the community last Friday where members of the RSIPF Police Response Team (PRT) were stoned by youth members in the community while they were carrying out a raid on a home that was producing illegal spirit (kwaso).
Two members of PRT were injured as a result. Both injured officers were at the reconciliation ceremony.
Leaders of the community, Charles Fakaia and Robert Lilimae, brought traditional shell money and presented them to the PRT officers and to their department. They also expressed their contrition for what their youths have caused them.
Provincial Police Commander (PPC) for Honiara City, Chief Superintendent Alfred Uiga, told the brief ceremony at the central police station that they are happy that leaders of the community took the initiative to approach the police to settle issues relating to the incident in a traditional way.
“Police has an oath not to accept compensation over injuries sustained during their line of duties. Koa hill-Saua community leaders have insisted so we accept it. I think it’s proper that settle issues in a Melanesian way,” Mr Uiga said.
Uiga said police is doing its work in communities to ensure communities are free of problems.
RSIPF’s Director of National Prevention Centre, Solomon Sisimia, said raiding illegal activities is a normal work of the police and it is doing this work everywhere in the country.
Mr Sisimia said anywhere there is illegal activity, police presence must be expected.
He said they hope to engage leaders of the community to establish a crime prevention committee.
He said there are opportunities where police can help bring programmes into communities to help youths.
Sisimia said this is an area they hope to explore with Koa hill-Saua community.
Representative of the Central Honiara Council of Chiefs, Hardy Fiuramo said police is the only authority mandated by law to maintain peace in our communities.
Mr Fiuramo said it is illegal to take the law to one’s own hand and try to confront police officers while they are doing their work.
Mr Fakaia, who represents Koa Hill-Saua community, said often parents of the community are ones who bear the impact of the actions of their youths.
He said most in their community supports the idea to make a turning point for the community.
Fakaia, who has been residing in the community for about 18 years, said he hopes the new relation they want to forge with the RSIPF will lead to the formation of by-laws in their community to help their community organise itself.
He said they will slowly deal with any illegal issue in their community.
Fakaia admitted it will take time to get their community fully organised as most people in their community are unemployed.
“We have plans on how we can address issues in our community. We are thankful to have started a relationship with the RSIPF,” Fakaia added.