The Royal Solomon Island Police Force (RSIPF) has recorded three arson cases during the recent weeks with two incidents recorded in Malaita Province and one in Makira-Ulawa Province.
Acting Commissioner of RSIPF Mostyn Mangau says, “This is very sad as victims have lost houses and other properties in the fires. Let us not take the law into our own hands. If we have any dispute between individuals we have traditional ways of resolving disputes which have been passed down through generations. Let us involve our chiefs and church leaders as well as police to resolve these issues in a peaceful manner.”
“I appeal to everyone to refrain from such criminal activities as police will not tolerate people with such character. The act is not criminal alone but will also create suffering for the victims,” says Acting Commissioner Mangau.
The arson cases included the burning of a dwelling house on 26 April 2020 at Tawaro on Small Malaita, Malaita Province. Five youth have been arrested and charged in connection with the incident. Two are facing charges of arson causing bodily harm and three have been charged for arson. They are out on bail. The five suspects will appear in the Maka Magistrates’ Court at a later date.
The second arson incident occurred at Masupa Village in East Are’are on 19 April 2020 and nine suspects have been arrested and charged with arson and malicious damage. The nine suspects including two female and seven male have been released on bail to appear in the Makira Magistrates’ Court on 25 May 2020. One kitchen and a semi-permanent dwelling house was burnt during the incident. The suspects also killed one pig. The third arson incident happened at Fine Bay Village in West Makira, Makira-Ulawa Province on 24 March 2020 when two men got angry with members of the community and burnt seven houses. Both men were arrested by police at the Kirakira Police Station on 24 April 2020 and have been charged with arson. Both have been remanded at the Correctional Centre in Kirakira as the investigation into the matter continues.