28 Jun 2003

Call for Solomons police to be sidelined

7:43 am on 28 June 2003

A Hawaii-based Solomon Islands academic, Dr Tarcisius Tara, says Australia's planned intervention force in Solomon Islands should take over all policing for a short period.

Dr Tara says this would allow local police officers to be screened to assess if they are still suited.

Dr Tara, who was the chief negotiator for the Guadalcanal militants during the ethnic unrest, has been calling for some type of international police support since the coup of 2000.

Dr Tara says he would like to see the intervention force focus on disarmament and for about six months take on the full policing role, during which time the local officers would be screened.

"to see if they had in any way participated in any criminal activity and any such police officer should be disciplined, I think, otherwise we are sending the wrong message to police officers who have participated in criminal activity."

Dr Tarcisius Tara