The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force will continue to target and disrupt illegal activities such as anti-social behaviour and disorderly conduct around market stall areas within the Honiara City.

Honiara City Police Commander Superintendent, Nela Mosese said yesterday that crime associated with the market stalls across Honiara had been identified as a considerable and recurring problem.

"The black market trade in beer, kwaso and illegal drugs, such as marijuana is seen as a major contributor to related offences," he said.

"The numbers of assaults, reports of carrying weapons, threats and sexual assaults in these market areas and around town are of major concern to police."

"Police will not tolerate anti-social conduct such as drunk and disorderly behaviour, abusive or offensive language, rock throwing, fighting and other offences that can be linked with illegal market stall activities," Superintendent Mosese said.

"The RSIPF, supported by the PPF and RAMSI will be cracking down on these illegal activities this weekend and in the busy lead-up time to Christmas."

Superintendent Mosese said he had recently met with the Mayor Andrew Mua and City Clerk Wayne Hart to discuss and identify challenging issues and ways to deal with them.

"Honiara City Council (HCC) is worried about increasing numbers of illegal stalls and associated antisocial conduct," he said.

City Mayor Andrew Mua said that HCC also has serious concerns about the negative impact of illegal activities on foreign investment and other legitimate business activities.

"The City Council has stopped issuing hawking and betelnut licences for areas within the Honiara Central Business District," Mayor Mua said.

"These criminal activities have a long term negative impact on the community and city," he said.

"If Solomon Islanders want a stable, prosperous nation they need to find other legal ways to make money and not jeopardise other potential industries like tourism.

"Working with Police, the City Council will deploy its own resources this week including council compliance officers to post notices to remove illegal stalls within
seven days."

Superintendent Mosese said it was important that the public understood that illegal market stall activities and antisocial conduct breached both the Penal Code and City Council Ordinances.

"Roadblocks will be conducted across the city by Police who will inspect vehicles and check drivers and passengers for any illegal activities. Some disruption to traffic will occur in various locations," he said.

"More than 100 RSIPF, PPF and RAMSI military personnel will be deployed in these operations throughout the coming weekend."

Superintendent Mosese said that beyond ongoing targeted Police operations, the RSIPF was also working to strengthen Crime Prevention Committees in the communities.

"Police continue to work closely with the Council and communities to better address the issues affecting social values and help reduce crime," he said.

Source: Police Media Unit