The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) has explained the role of the police to public transport owners under Orders declared by the Government following the State of Public Emergency which came into effect on 25 March 2020 as part of the country’s efforts to prevent the coronavirus (COVID-19) from entering Solomon Islands.
During a meeting called by the RSIPF and held at the Police Club at the Rove Police Headquarters in Honiara on 1 April 2020, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Operations; Juanita Matanga told the bus and taxi owners:
“As the Law Enforcement Agency in Solomon Islands, the RSIPF has a key role to play in both supporting the implementation of Public Health measures to contain any outbreak of the COVID-19 in the country and preventing specific criminal activities arising from the implementation of the orders.”
DCP Matanga adds: “Police will enforce orders declared by the government and should there be a lockdown or a curfew members of the public including public transport owners will be made aware of what to do.”
“There will be heavy penalties including fines and imprisonment for anyone who disobeys the orders that are being issued by the government. I appeal to everyone to adhere to the orders given under this State of Public Emergency since there will be no negotiations if police arrests anyone. They will be dealt with accordingly and will end up in Court.”
“Let us cooperate with our Government as they put in place measures to ensure that this deadly virus does not enter our beloved Solomon Islands,” says DC Matanga.
“The RSIPF is confident that the State of Public Emergency and Orders to be issued under the declaration will be policed successfully if all people in Solomon Islands observe the orders.”
RSIPF warns members of the public not to spread any false information but remain calm and listen for any advice from the rightful authorities. Police will arrest any person spreading false information to the public regarding COVID -19.
Solomon Islands is yet to record any positive COVID-19 case so far.