20 Feb 2012

Solomon Islands policemen should be trained when to use weapons says NGO

6:50 am on 20 February 2012

The Founder of the Solomon Islands Development Trust says police officers who are being re-armed must be taught when to use their weapons.

John Roughan's comments follow the Prime Minister's announcement that specially trained officers will be rearmed with weapons of non-lethal force including spray devices and rubber bullet guns.

Mr Roughan says he is not only concerned about policemen being trained in how to operate the arms but when and where to use them.

He says the weapons should only be presented as a last resort.

"The Solomon Islands police force was very effective in the 2010 riots. As they kept the looters out of China Town no guns were used, no guns were shown, no guns were displayed and they did it just simply with their presence and batons."

John Roughan says although the guns fire rubber bullets they are still dangerous weapons.