IT is only a matter of months after the Bank South Pacific branch in Auki, Malaita was robbed by armed men, and robbers on Monday strike again.
This time, in the heart of Honiara once more and interestingly, at the same spot where a grimly robbery incident occurred just last year – in front of the old Westpac bank now BSP.
It is high time; stakeholders including police and the government contribute ideas and implement measures to tackle this increasing phenomenon in our once peaceful society.
Re-arming police is one of the many choices to consider. It may not be pro-active but it sure discourages or gives any robbery plans second thoughts before they are executed.
Another remedy would be to increase the penalty or punishment for those found guilty of crimes commonly committed nowadays by youths.
Another proactive measure is to create employment for youths throughout the country. Actively pursue the growth centre plan which is unheard of nowadays.
The banks have been trying to take down banking to the rural areas and the string of large scale robberies is undermining that very development. It undermines bank’s confidence and efforts to bring financial services and products closer to ordinary Solomon Islanders.
These were the actions of only a few people which will affect the whole country. This is robbing our own country.
“This is a very disturbing incident as it shows high level of criminality is slowly creeping back into the country.
This latest robbery incident comes after an earlier attack in the first half of this year at the former Westpac branch at Point Cruz in Honiara, where a security officer had his arm chopped off.
While crimes of this type occur in most countries of the world, this is the fourth serious robbery in Solomon Islands in the past two years.
It comes at a time when the Central Bank, in cooperation with banks and other organisations, is trying to bring financial services to more of the rural population.
This senseless robbery must be condemned in the strongest possible terms because it undermines efforts to make Solomon Islands a stronger, wealthier country which can provide jobs for its people.
It undermines business confidence, which is critical to jobs, growth and the future of Solomon Islands.
The public must be applauded for the prompt reaction which resulted in one of the alleged robbers being caught according to reports. Good on you and thank you. Help police catch the remaining one who escaped. Let us all show robbers, they expect no mercy from the public as well.