Police Commissioner Matthew Varley says the conviction of two police officers recently in the Honiara Magistrates’ Court indicates that there is no room for corruption in the police force.
Mr Varley made this sentiment at his weekly conference on Thursday at the Rove Police Headquarters.
“The point I would want to make in terms of the integrity of the police force is that we take the integrity of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) extremely seriously,” Mr Varley said.
Mr Varley said there is no room in the police force for corruption and there is no room in the police force for cases like this where people have been misusing either, public money or accepting bribes.
“There is a due process for us to follow and that is what we have done in these cases.
“But the message here is that no one including police officers is above the law.
“…and my expectation that I have set to police officers in the RSIPF is that the community sees us as role models and the community expects us to uphold the law.
“…and where we break the law, we should face the consequence just like everyone else,” Mr Varley added.
Mr Varley however, stressed that by and large the overwhelming majority of the police force are very proud officers who work hard on a daily basis to uphold their oath of office and to uphold the laws of this country.
“I know many police officers are as disappointed as I am to see these convictions of court and these moments for failure for the police force.
“But by and large, the overwhelming majority of police force has the support of the community and has the support of myself in the good job that they do.
“Where people do the wrong thing they should expect to face the consequence and that is exactly why we have the Professional Standards and Internal Investigation (PSII) Unit.
“We are strong on corruption issues in the police force, we are strong on disciplining the police force and we will do our best to keep ourselves accountable to the highest standards that the community expects,” Mr Varley further added.
One of the officers, a former sergeant was sentenced last week to 18 months imprisonment for corruptly receiving $5,000 in relation to a traffic offence in 2016.
Another senior officer whom is a superintendent will be sentenced this Friday.
He was found guilty after a trial for converting $21,700 intended for police operations in the city in 2016 for his own use.
The police chief said the Sergeant has resigned from the police force.
“I accepted his resignation with immediate effect and he has been notified of that due to the fact of his conviction and imprisonment.
He said the superintendent is still suspended and that is pending the decision by the court on his sentence which will hand down today.
“Both of those cases are serious and both of them strike at the heart of the integrity of the police force.
“That is why those cases are investigated very thoroughly,
“That is why I gave instructions in those cases for them to be presented to the courts and the courts have dealt with them accordingly.
“I wait to see the outcome of that case.”
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN