15 Feb 2012

Only trained officers to use arms, says Solomons police chief

8:33 pm on 15 February 2012

The Solomon Islands Acting Police Commissioner, Walter Kola, says only officers trained in the use of newly-approved weapons will be re-armed.

His comment comes after Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo announced cabinet's approval for the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force to use weapons of non-lethal force.

Weapons were taken off local police following the ethnic crisis in 2003.

Mr Kola says only an elite few, particularly the Police Response Unit, will have access to the suppression weapons which include spray devices and rubber bullet guns.

"Some call it rubber bullets or bean bags. But it's commonly used around the world as equipments for police response units. And these equipments will only be used by professional, disciplined officers who are well trained to the use of these equipments."

Walter Kola