Tuesday, 8 January 2008 4:10 PM

Pick-Pocketing on the Rise in Honiara

As Honiara city moves into its eighth day of 2008, it has been noted that crimes on the streets is on the rise.

It has been noted that among street crimes, on high rise is pick-pocketing, said to be new in Honiara.

Speaking to Solomon Times, a young wife of Malaita Province, Ms. Rimola Malolo, said young boys are grouping together and pick-pocketing people on the streets of Honiara, especially targeting elderly citizens.

Ms. Malolo, who claims to have had encounters, said the main spot for young boys is the Honiara Central Market, which is usually always packed.

She informed Solomon Times that despite being arrested and warned, this does not seem to stop the young boys from continuing with the habit.

This, however, not only falls in the young category, according to Ms. Malolo.

"I was in the pharmacy this afternoon and was watching a man, mature enough to have perfect sense of what he was doing, wanting shaving gear and decides to steal instead of paying," she said.

Ms. Malolo said that seeing what the man was up to, she had to report the matter to sales assistants "because we can't encourage such habit".

The man was told to pay up the gear or hand it back, which he did and walked casually out of the pharmacy.

Ms. Malolo told Solomon Times that her husband also had to intervene on the streets to help an elderly who was robbed.

"Young boys between the ages of 10-12 years old wanted to pick-pocket an old man but my husband stepped in and chased them away."

This didn't go by easy for her husband, who was confronted for what he had done to the young boys.

"While helping the victim, a group of mature men approached and demand he explain what he did to the younger boys, especially because he took back the money," Ms. Malolo said.

The problem is a concern for the general public, who feel such activity will not only contribute to high rate in criminal activities, but also create an environment unsafe for the elder citizens.

Responsible authorities, including the police, are called on to look into the issue as an urgent matter.

"It is frustration on the part of the young ones who are uncertain about their well-being that is leading them to get involved in such activities," Ms. Malolo said.

She said responsible authorities should create an environment for them to feel they belong to society, and activities such as awareness programmes to keep them busy.

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