Friday, 2 January 2009 12:53 PM

Celebrations "Quietest in Years": Chief Supt. Ratu

The Police Commander Honiara City, Chief Superintendent Nathan Ratu, has described the Christmas and New Year period as the most "quietest in years."

Chief Supt. Ratu said he was happy with the outcome of their Christmas and New Year operations, adding that a big factor was the good cooperation of the members of the public.

He said that the Liqour licensing board had not approved any single application to extend closing time from 2 am in the morning and that all venues closed down on time.

Mr. Ratu told Solomon Times that during the Christmas and New Year holiday period, the arrests made by police were mostly alcohol related and some were people already wanted by police on warrants of arrests.

However, he said that on New Year's eve, the Police Liqour Squad raided an illegal liquor outlet in the Bokona area in Central Honiara and confiscated 150 litres of alcohol which the owner was selling without license.

The Police also raided premises used by betel nut sellers opposite the police headquarters at Rove and confiscated a similar amount of liquor being sold there without a liquor license.

The capital police commander calls on people who want to sell liquor to get proper legal arrangements and comply with their terms and the police will leave them alone.

He said that the number of arrests were less than ten on Christmas and New Year, reflecting a very quite holiday period in years.

Mr. Ratu said that on New Year's eve and actual New year's day, for example, the police arrested seven people, five on liquor related problems and two who were wanted by police on warrants on earlier crimes.

During the Christmas period, Mr. Ratu said, only less than ten were also apprehended by police also on liquor related issues and a couple who had already been on police warrants for arrests on earlier problems.

He said that reports coming in from the provinces so far also reflected a very peaceful Christmas and New Year holiday period in the rural areas.