The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) warns members of the public that erecting roadblocks to demand money as a token of appreciation for the work done is an offence.

The warning comes as police receive reports of members of the public erecting road blocks and demanding money including an incident in Central Guadalcanal recently.

Provincial Police Commander (PPC) Honiara City, Chief Superintendent Stanley Riolo says, “Demanding money for doing work that no one has instructed you to do is illegal. What we did in the past when such reports reach us is our frontline officers warn those demanding money and if they continue then we have no option but to arrest.”

“If members of the public feel they should assist the community by repairing a road, then they should do it out of their heart and not to demand road users to pay for the service. But if a road user decides to appreciate the work done by donating some money, then that is fine,” PPC Riolo explains.

He adds: “If we are genuinely trying to assist our communities by volunteering our services then that is all good. Let us not turn around and demand money just because we have filled up some potholes. Police will not tolerate any one who blocks part of a road and demands money just because they have repaired that portion of the road. Police can arrest anyone for demanding and obstructing a public way.”

“The offence is specified under demanding contrary to section 294 of the Penal Code with a maximum penalty of $200 and under section 178 of the Penal Code where you can be charged for obstructing public ways,” PPC Riolo says.

Source: RSIPF Media