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Police respond to arson attack in Isabel Province

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Police deployed three teams of investigators on Friday 27 May, Tactical Response and Community Policing officers to Isabel Province to support Buala Police in relation to an arson attack incident at Riverside village near Kamaosi which resulted in the destruction of 33 houses and displacement of more than a hundred villagers.

Police believe the incident have stemmed out from a disagreement between two parties in relation to a land that both parties have claimed ownership of.

An argument between the two disputing parties started when one of the groups settled in the disputed area.

The disagreement escalated when members of both groups confronted each other and a fight broke out resulting in the allegedly burning of houses.

A joint investigation by Buala Police and detectives from the National Criminal Investigation Division (NCID) revealed that approximately 123 men, women and children were displaced and made homeless following the arson attack.

Police assisted and evacuated the Riverside village victims to the nearby village of Ngakolau were they are currently accommodated and looked after by villagers.

The Police Tactical Response team has setup base next to the troubled village and they have been tasked to monitor the security situation on the ground.

There have been no further threats to the lives and property of the villagers, however the response team will remain vigilant and prepared to response in short notice to any situation.

The RSIPF Community Policing Unit has been engaging chiefs, elders and villagers and held discussions with both parties to try and resolve the matter in a peaceful manner.

The negotiation is continuing and police has been getting crucial assistance from members of the community.

Essentially, community support through the provision of information has enabled detectives to identify several individuals that police believed would assist with their investigation.

Police urged members of Riverside community and nearby villages who may have any information in relation to the arson attack to come forward and report to police.

Information can be phoned in through Buala Police on 35266 or the Police Communication Centre on phone 23666.

- Police Media