Tuesday, 30 October 2007 2:30 PM

Senior Police Officer Attacks Civilian

An attack on a civilian by a senior police officer stirred public reaction in Honiara.

Betel nut vendor at Rove Market in Honiara, Ben Tattai, told the Solomon Times that the incident happened last Friday as celebrations to commemorate the first ever Police Open Day event took place.

Mr. Tattai revealed that the senior police officer approached him and grabbed hold of stocks on his stall.

"The officer came up to my stall and grabbed hold of stocks that I had set up on the counter and it wasn't until later that I realized he was drunk," Mr. Tattai told the Solomon Times.

The vendor claimed that the officer, when asked to pay for the damage, instructed him to call in at his house "and so I did".

According to Mr. Tattai, the officer shook his hands upon arrival at his house "then did a fake turn around and I was caught in a shock when a punch landed on my face".

Mr. Tattai said some young boys who were around the officer's premises, also drunk, took the chance to "kick me like a football, catching me off guard".

"I don't know what sparked the reaction, and the reason for such behaviour coming from a senior police officer," the market vendor said.

Mr. Tattai said that it is because of such action coming from a few officers that has tarnished the reputation of the local police force.

He said that the matter has been reported to responsible authorities.

Meanwhile, the Police Media Unit confirmed that the matter has been reported to them.

"We are aware of an incident at Rove Market, allegedly involving a senior police officer. The matter has been referred to the Professional Standard & Internal Investigation (PSII) Unit for further enquiries, and it would be inappropriate for police to comment while this matter is under investigation," the Unit said.