6 Apr 2005

Solomon Islands facing escalating social problems, says departing police commissioner

11:35 am on 6 April 2005

The departing Solomon Islands police commissioner, Englishman Bill Morrell, says many social problems are emerging now the ethnic tension has been subdued.

Mr Morrell's contract has just expired.

He had reapplied but lost the job to an Australian who is yet to be named.

Mr Morrell says he is satisfied with what he has achieved in trying to rebuild the force which became fractured and compromised during the years of unrest in the country.

Mr Morrell says the challenge now is to combat the deepseated corruption and modernise the country to ensure the lawlessness does not recur.

And he says emerging social problems will place more strain on the country.

"It is going to take more in terms of law and order, in terms of education. Of course, the big concern is with AIDs coming into Solomon Islands - it is a recipe for disaster. So a lot of work still needs to be done - very, very quiickly."