By Mike Puia
FOR the first time, leaders of Koa Hill community in Central Honiara have agreed to work closely with the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF).
RSIPF’s Director of National Prevention Centre, Solomon Sisimia, said the community’s reaching out to them is historic.
Mr Sisimia said Koa Hill is one of the communities inside Honiara city the RSIPF has difficulty working in.
He said the desire expressed by leaders of the community to start a working relation with them is welcoming.
The relationship started after an incident in the community recently involving members of the RSIPF’s Police Response Team (PRT) and community youths.
When PRT officers entered the community and raided a home that was producing illegal spirit (kwaso), they were stoned by community youths. Two PRT members were injured as a result.
The incident leads to community leaders voluntarily coming out and asking the RSIPF to accept compensation for the action of their youths and to accept their wish to work closely with the police.
Their requests were granted. The first part of the request was done when leaders of the community presented traditional shell money to the injured officers and to their division.
For the second part of their request, community leaders have asked the RSIPF to produce a standard community by-law for their community.
A community leader, Charles Fakaia said having a set of law in their community will help them to maintain peace and order in their community.
Mr Fakaia said the incident is a turning point for their community as they don’t want to have any more issue with the police.
He said youths in their community are ones who bring problems to their community, yet elders and children are the ones affected.
In accepting the request to work in partnership with the community, Provincial Police Commander (PPC) for Honiara City, Alfred Uiga, has provided a list carrying names of youths who were implicated during the incident to leaders of the community.
Mr Uiga said he trusts community leaders will hand those whose names are on the list given to them.
He said those implicated in the incident must come before the courts.
Uiga said if they failed police will continue to show up in their community and look for them and that the crimes they committed will get severe.