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More reports of NGE incidents with police
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12 April 2019
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Police Commissioner Matthew Varley.


Police have recorded a total of 190 reports of incidents connected to the National General Elections (NGE).

Speaking at his weekly conference yesterday, Police Commissioner Matthew Varley said this has resulted in the establishment of 203 cases for various types of investigation or police inquiry.

“Sixty-three of those reports were for related disturbances and breaches of the peace which have been dealt with by police,” Mr Varley said.

Mr Varley added that 48 reports were for minor threats or allegations received by one member of the public against another.

“We received 22 reports for allegations resulting around breaches of Electoral Act which are currently being assessed, investigated and looked into.

“We have 14 reports of damage to property.

“...and we have another 14 reports of roadblocks being put in place in locations but again those were dealt with by police quite quickly and removed.

Mr Varley said they had five reports in relation to theft of properties and a number of reports in relation to traffic matters on our roads.

“And most of those issues were addressed by rapid police intervention, engagement with the community and also through the community reconciliation and cultural practices,” he said.

He further added that all reports of arguments, conflicts and clashes between various groups of supporters in some locations have been attended by police and dealt with.

“...and all of those reports have been attended to by police are also supported by community leaders stepping in establishing dialogue between the sides and reaching amicable solutions,” he said. 

The police chief further added that there were also a number of complaints around the procedure of voting or allegation of in correct procedure or allegation of tampering or not proper labelling of ballot boxes and etc.

“We also saw a lot of complaints raised by people whose names were not on the registration list that they had anticipated,” he added.

He said these issues are matters for the Solomon Islands Electoral Commission to asses and evaluate.

“But they are not matters for the police to investigate unless we get a referral from the Electoral Commissioner around the criminal offence and we will liaise very close with them about that,” Mr Varley further explained.

“It is important to remember that even though these events have occurred and we have some reports of incidents and disturbances, we have no major reports of election related violence,” he said.

The police operation centre that was in place 24/7 to monitor situations around the country will continue to do so throughout the period of the formation of government and election of a Prime Minister.

By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN

 

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