21 Mar 2019

Solomons police bank on community support for election security

11:05 am on 21 March 2019

With only a fortnight to go before the Solomon Islands election, the police are holding dozens of awareness meetings in churches, markets and community halls around the country.

Solomon Islands' police commissioner Matthew Varley.

Solomon Islands' police commissioner Matthew Varley. Photo: Solomon Islands UNDP

Campaigning is in full swing and the police commissioner Matthew Varley acknowledges the airing of opposing political views is always a tense time for the country.

But he said the community consultations had been well received and he was feeling confident the police were well prepared for any eventuality.

"Putting out a very strong message to everyone that violence and disorder are not the way we want to go in the 2019 general election. You know the police role here is to maintain peace and security.

"We want to see Solomon Islanders have a safe and free and fair general election 2019. That is what we are focussed on and we are certainly hoping that the community sees it the same way."

More than 250 defence force personnel from Australia and New Zealand are being deployed to assist local police and electoral authorities for the election.

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