Police Commissioner Frank Prendergast has assured members of the Parliamentary Opposition and Independent Groups, the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) is ready to assume full responsibility when the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) leaves on 30th June 2017.
Commissioner Prendergast made this statement recently, saying this is possible provided the RSIPF continues to be properly equipped.
Mr. Prendergast explained, the Police Force is now one of the best in the region, particularly in terms of key capabilities such as public order management and crime prevention.
Commissioner Prendergast also acknowledged that RSIPF still faces challenges, and like all police services around the world it will have to deal with issues relating to discipline or inadequate service delivery.
He said the most important thing was how the organisation dealt with these issues.
Mr. Prendergast reassured the Parliamentarians that RSIPF has been working very hard to instill values, discipline and strong leadership at all ranks and it will continue to remove officers that did not demonstrate the professionalism and accountability expected of them.
Meanwhile, the Government is negotiating with Australia, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinea (PNG) on policing cooperation initiatives that would continually strengthen the RSIPF and lead to increased law enforcement cooperation along the Solomon Islands-PNG border.
Solomon Islands Government Special Secretary to RAMSI, John Wasi said Solomon Islands and Australia are discussing a mechanism that would enable Solomon Islands to request Australia to provide security or disaster management assistance in an emergency.
In response, the Leaders and members of the Opposition and Independent Groups praised RAMSI for its tremendous contribution over the last 13 years to the peace and security of Solomon Islands.
They commended RSIPF’s commitment to working in partnership with communities and stakeholders to maintain law and order in the country in line with its community-orientated Crime Prevention Strategy.