Engaging private security firms to secure police facilities is normal practice in any country.
Police Commissioner Frank Prendergast mentioned this in his media conference last Thursday.
Responding to a question raised on having private security guards manning the Rove Police Headquarters main gate in Honiara, Mr Prendergast said it was his initiative.
He says looking at the Australian Federal Police (AFP) this is a very normal occurrence, adding that the costs are met by RAMSI.
“If you look at the police force that I’ve come from, this is a very normal occurrence. Police officers are very highly trained and expensive and are assets for the community and it’s important that we get them out doing policing duties, where a security of the type that we need around headquarters is best provided by a private security company. Now we’re in the fortunate situation at the moment that we’re having assistance from RAMSI in terms of that security, so it’s not coming at a cost at this stage to the Solomon Islands community or the Government.”
Meanwhile, the Police Commissioner says this is a more efficient way of providing security services at the Rove Police Headquarters.
“And to me it’s a more efficient way of providing the security that’s required at the Headquarters and not tying up valuable police resources, which we’ve done in the past. Now what that’s enabled us to do is free up resources to, you know, applied at the issues up at Gold Ridge for example and other priority concerns, so while it might be new here in the Solomon Islands, it’s not unusual around the world that police premises are secured by private security firms.”