1 Sep 2003

Acting Commissioner makes headway into Solomon Islands police force clean-up

3:30 pm on 1 September 2003

The Australian acting as police commissioner in Solomon Islands says cleaning up the police force is the toughest job he faces.

His comments follow the recent arrests of four police employees, including three officers, one of whom was a superintendent in the STAR division.

Ben McDevitt says there are a whole range of issues and problems with the force.

He says while there are some very good and honest officers, many others have engaged regularly in criminal and corrupt activity, or do not fulfil the responsibilities of the job.

"Not long after I was worn in I was given responsibility for three areas of policing in Solomon Islands, the first was the Weather Coast, the second was the issue of removing guns from the community and the third was to clean up the police force. And I can tell you, I stated then and I continue to state now, that of the three, the cleaning up of the police force is proving to be the most difficult and will certainly take the longest. ..."