17 Nov 2011

Solomons police commended over riot response

2:36 pm on 17 November 2011

A former assistant police commissioner in Solomon Islands, Mike Wheatley, has commended the force on its response to rioting in Honiara yesterday.

Rioting broke out among hundreds of protestors opposed to parliament electing Gordon Darcy Lilo as Prime Minister.

The police managed to disperse the rioters and quell the unrest.

Mr Wheatly, who is Australian, says the response was far better than that by local police and the Regional Assistance Mission in April 2006 when rioting broke out over a Prime Ministerial election.

He says the police is in good shape under the commissioner, Walter Kola:

"It seems that the structural problems that occurred in the past, in the recent past, have been fixed. The intelligence was there, they were prepared, they've obviously done the training and as Mr Kola said, I believe according to my wantoks, he had his plans in place and he could put the pressure on if he had to."

Mike Wheatley