The Honiara Police has stepped up its ongoing operations to help maintain law and order in the capital as the Christmas period nears.

The Police Commander Honiara, Chief Superintendent Nathan Ratu, outlined key aspects of the police operations in an interview with the National Express yesterday afternoon.

The latest police operation is "Operation Wake Up" which targets consumption of liquor in public areas particularly areas regarded as "hot spots" by police. Such areas include retail shops that sell beer, the Honiara Central Market, and areas around the Ranadi industrial site.

Mr. Ratu said that "Operation Wake Up," which started last week, is structured to provide patrols around Honiara during the day as well as during the night, particularly from Wednesday up to the weekends.

Mr. Ratu has warned that it will have "zero tolerance" for liquor license holders whose premises are subject to frequent arrests due to the consumption of liquor.

He said that before introducing the operation last week he convened a meeting with liquor license holders to inform them, and also warn them, about what the police was intending to do.

Mr. Ratu said that in the case of night clubs the police will check to ensure that they are not allowing underage youths into their premises and that they close down when they should.

The Police Commander Honiara also gave a stern warning to liquor license holders.
"These license holders are bound to lose their licenses if they are found to have failed to fulfill their responsibilities as stipulated under their liquor licenses," Mr. Ratu said.

Mr. Ratu said that police headquarters is also involved in a joint operation known as 'Safe Boat Operation' with the Marine Department and the Ports Authority and was scheduled to start yesterday.

The operation, which is managed from Police Headquarters, is aimed at making sure that ships are not overloaded when they leave Honiara. "The operation also seeks to ensure that they have the required safety equipment and facilities on boat before sailing," said Ratu.

Mr. Ratu also told the Express that the Honiara Police will continue to provide support to harbor patrol operations. This would enhance their capacity to check on illegal activities such as prostitutions involving ships that come into the Honiara port.

He said that the operation involves the cooperation between the Police, Customs, and Immigration.

Source: National Express