Police Commissioner Matthew Varley said since Monday his officers in Honiara and Guadalcanal are involved in the high visibility patrols across the country and city following the government’s decision to switch diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China.
“The RSIPF’s responsibility is to maintain peace and security in the community,” Mr Varley told reporters at his weekly conference yesterday.
He said the patrols are being carried out to make sure peace and safety of the community is upheld.
“And to this point I am very pleased to say that by and large the situation across the country remains calm and peaceful and stable,” he said.
Mr Varley added that their operation is ongoing 24 hours a day and is commanded their Police Operation Centre at Rove Police Headquarters.
He said they are keeping a national watch on all the issues around the country and that will continue until such time he sees fit to stand down the operation in the near future.
“Obviously this is purposely being done to make sure that our city, our community and our country can go about their business free from any fear or disorder or risk to our safety.
“.....free from any form of political violence or intimidation that might occur or anyone who might want to take advantage of the current political situation,” Mr Varley further added.
The police chief said they had not seen that occurring at all but it is their job to be vigilant and to make sure that they are acting in a preventive way.
“But the good news is at this stage, there has been no report of any serious disturbances or risks to public safety across the country.”
Mr Varley also added that the RSIPF’s National Crime Prevention Department is also conducting alot of awareness talks in the community throughout Honiara and parts of Guadalcanal.
“This is to update our people, to raise awareness and to remind people to respect law and order and not to engage in any sort of disorder or any political motivated unrest,”.
Mr Varley said they have done 26 community engagements so far from East of Honiara, Guadalcanal Province through to Central Honiara.
They had covered West Honiara yesterday and will continue further west of Honiara throughout this week.
“It is important that we send a few messages to the community and our crime prevention team has been reminding the public to maintain law and order, not to involve in anti social behaviour and to remain calm and let the situation develop,” Mr Varley said.
The police chief said during engagement with people, many people had expressed different views over the government’s decision as is their rights.
“We welcome people to express their views in a peaceful way but obviously want to remind people that we don’t want to see anything goes out of hand,” he said.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN