5 Sep 2003

Solomons police estimate more than 200 illegal guns still not handed in

11:34 am on 5 September 2003

The acting Solomon Islands police commissioner Ben McDevitt says they still do not know precisely how many guns remain in the community.

The tally of weapons received during the amnesty, which finished two weeks ago, has now exceeded more than three and a half thousand.

Mr McDevitt says their best estimate is that 227 high powered weapons are still being held illegally.

But he says this figure doesn't take account of any guns which may have been destroyed prior to the arrival of the intervention force six weeks ago.

"The figure may actually be less than 220. Then again, the figure doesn't take into account movement of firearms which might have come, for example, from Bougainville. And we've heard anecdotally, that that may have been the case."