PRT probed

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PC Mathew Varley
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Allegations against officers of RSIPF elite unit investigated

BY JENNIFER KUSAPA

POLICE Commissioner Matthew Varley says the speculation in social media against Police Response Team officers will be thoroughly investigated.

Mr Varley said they are aware of the issue and his senior officers will be conducting an enquiry on the allegation and are urging those involved to give information about the incident, rather than speculate.

He said they welcome any reports from the occupants of the vehicle, adding that if they want to report to the Police Professional Standard unit of the RSIPF, they are welcome to do so.

Varley also confirmed the use of the capsicum spray on the driver, the spray is part of the equipment of the PRT.

“Take a balanced approach to the facts and people should not jump to conclusion. We the senior leaders of the organisation take a lot of pride in making sure the RSIPF is well disciplined and well trained and we want to make sure that the community have trust and confidence in that,” Varley said.

Sometimes policing is a difficult job and sometimes it is hard and dangerous job when our officers are out there on the streets in the middle of the night sometimes things can get ugly, Varley said.

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The commissioner made the comments following an incident that occurred on the early hours of April 8 around 2am where the driver of the vehicle raised in the social media about the alleged attack accusing the RSIPF PRT officers of unprofessionally dealing with him.

Varley said that he will be briefed on the issue as the matter is before the court.

He said on the early hours around 2am the PRT officers were on patrol around Lawson Tama area, the PRT officers are routinely tasked on Friday and Saturday nights as part of the operation in support of the general duty officers and to also act on high visibility patrols.

He said around 2am the PRT officers observed a hilux travelling westward at high speed of 80km/hr towards the city, and they attempted to follow and at some point it was alleged that one of the hilux passengers made an offensive gesture towards the police officers.

The officers were following the vehicle as it was travelling on high speed and also to check on whether or not the driver of the vehicle was under the influence of alcohol given the driving conditions and the speed.

The vehicle then came to a stop at the old Mataniko Bridge and it was at that location the alleged incident occurred.

After minutes of struggle and argument the officers managed to take the driver to the Central watch house in which he underwent a decontamination procedure which include fresh water, and he was placed in the cell for investigation.

He was later charged for obstructing police and that allegation will be taken to court, but he (driver) is still under investigation for other matters including traffic matters, registration of vehicle because at this stage the vehicle itself the registration date did not match the vehicle attached to and also vehicle licence was not displayed.

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