Renbel PPC and officers abandon Tingoa station, Rove HQ seek answers
BY BARNABAS MANEBONA
RSIPF officers posted at the Tingoa police station have evacuated the station, it is reported.
The provincial police commander (PPC) and six police officers from other provinces boarded a flight to Honiara on January 1, leaving behind only one probationer officer to man the station.
Community leaders are questioning the evacuation, labelling it as non-procedural and utterly irresponsible of the RSIPF to ‘simply walk out’.
Questions furbished to police media have received the mere response: “The Office of the RSIPF Assistant Commissioner (Provincial) is aware of the matter and is dealing with it administratively.”
Island Sun has also learnt that the executive of the RSIPF were not even made aware prior to the ‘walk out’ nor are privy to any reasons behind it.
Sources familiar with the issue say even the Deputy Commissioner Admin had rang officers enquiring any possible reason behind PPC Manegaua’s walk out with his officers.
While reasons behind the move are unclear, sources say the officers had been recalled by the Acting Commissioner Provincial (ACP) following widespread complaints over their low performance leading up to and during the Christmas festivities.
Other reports say the new PPC, Inspector Aloysio Manegaua, and his officers had also received continuous threats and abuse, hence had fled for their safety.
“But this does not warrant a walk out,” says one source. “Police should never back down because of some verbal abuse and threats from a rowdy public. They have back-up like the PRT to help them curb anti-social issues, plus it is their job to maintain law and order.
“If the police can’t do that then I’m afraid our police is heading in the wrong direction,” a community elder tells Island Sun.
This paper understands that Tingoa had begun facing law and order problems since late November last year after the former acting-PPC was recalled to Rove HQ.
Community elders had taken to the media to voice their complaints over the deteriorating state of law and order, demanding that police step up in their policing roles and apprehend individuals who were carrying out anti-social activities.
They had called for PPC Manegaua to carry out high visibility foot and vehicle patrols and to visit communities. In more recent media calls they had condemned the inactivity of police and the seeming reluctance by officers to respond to reports of criminal activities.
Browsing through the Facebook forums, many commentators can be seen voicing out concerns over the implications of the ‘walk out’ and what RSIPF management plans to do to address the situation.
Some are calling for the PPC and his officers to be replaced with competent officers, others are scolding Tingoa’s public for unwanted behaviour which led to the police running away, and others just want the police and authorities to resolve the problem amicably.
While the ‘walk out’ has received mixed reactions, it is clear that it was a move that has caught many unawares and dumbfounded.