5 Feb 2003

Fears that special constables will not surrender weapons because of outstanding allowances

11:35 am on 5 February 2003

The Solomon Islands Deputy Police Comissioner, John Homelo, says there are concerns that special constables being made redundant will not surrender their weapons.

Mr Homelo says ex-combatants who were taken into the special constabularly are upset over the government's failure to pay them oustanding allowances.

Yesterday more than 3-hundred special constables caused a violent scene during an inaugural workshop for a demobilisation and reintegration programme for them in Rove.

The programme's aim is to help the 8-hundred special constables being made redundant find other employment.

Mr Homelo says it is unlikely that constables unhappy about losing their jobs will hand in their weapons as required.

"I think not at the moment. Some accepted, a few are still angry. I will consult people and we will sort it out."

John Homelo says the new police commissioner, William Morrell, who was at the workshop, called on the constables to take part in the demobilisation programme.