Women police officers of RSIPF. Photo: Courtesy of Wikimedia.

Women police officers of RSIPF. Photo: Courtesy of Wikimedia.

The new Police Act has been enforced, beginning this month.

In a statement, Police Minister Chris Laore said the gazetting of the Police Act and Police Regulations reflects the Solomon Islands Government commitment to ongoing development and modernization of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force.

Minister Laore said significant work was undertaken in re-writing the Police Act and the Government appreciates contributions from RAMSI and the broader Law and Justice Sector in bringing this important legislation to fruition.

He said the Government expects police to provide a professional service to the Solomon Islands people, and the Police Act and Regulations provide a modern framework to provide that service.

In 2010 RAMSI funded a project to develop a contemporary Police Act and Regulations appropriate to the Solomon Islands.

The project aimed to codify and clarify police functions in plain, easily understood language and enable police to clearly understand their duties and responsibilities and to confidently carry out their role with fairness and consistency.

It further aimed to promote community involvement and the development of partnerships with other agencies to increase public satisfaction, trust and confidence.

The revised Police Act was approved through the Bills and Legislation Committee in March last year and was passed in Parliament in April last year.

The new Police Act came into force as of March 1 this year.

Meanwhile, top law enforcement leaders in the country have welcomed the enforcement of the new Police Act.

In a statement, Acting Police Commissioner Juanita Matanga said the new Police Act addresses a number of important functions including governance, employment, police powers, offences, conduct and discipline.

Commissioner Matanga adds a Code of Conduct has been prescribed within the Police Regulations, and the RSIPF is committed to complying with the Code of Conduct and delivering an accountable police service.

In the same statement, RAMSI PPF Commander Greg Harrigan said “the Police Act and Police Regulations will support the RSIPF in strengthening its operational capacity to maintain law and order, ensure community safety and build community support and confidence.

Commander Harrigan also said the PPF will continue to support the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force in the development of Commissioners Orders and relevant policies to support the revised Act and Regulations.

Meanwhile in welcoming the new Police Act, RAMSI Special Coordinator Justine Braithwaite said the review of the Police Act 1972 was undertaken in line with Solomon Island Government commitment of improving the effectiveness of the RSIPF and improving public confidence in the police.

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