Acting Police Commissioner Juanita Matanga. Photo credit: SIBC.

Acting Police Commissioner Juanita Matanga. Photo credit: SIBC.

The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force has deployed its Guadalcanal-based officers to provide security services at the mining site at Gold Ridge.

Acting Police Commissioner, Juanita Matanga told her weekly press conference this week, the Guadalcanal police are taking over from the Police Response Team.

Commissioner Matanga adds the number of police officers will gradually decrease as the Gold Ridge company resumes operation.

“At first we deployed our Police Response Team and also supported by uniform officers, but now we are handing it over to the Guadalcanal Province under the Provincial Police Commander is taking responsibility. We are still maintaining that, but we have reduced the number because again the company is slowly resuming, but we will continue to ensure that the area cannot create problems between the company and landowners and our communities.”

Meanwhile, the Acting Police Commissioner also clarifies, police presence at the mining site is only to maintain law and order, and the mining company has the right to establish its own security at the site.

“I will not speak on behalf of the company because whatever the company decides remains its decision. What the police can only do is to ensure that law and order is maintained at the mine site and that’s the purpose having police presence at the site. But in terms of whatever decision regarding recruiting whoever they want is solely the company’s decision. I purely look only at the policing perspective.”

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