Developing the capacity of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force

Developing the Capacity of the RSIPF

RAMSI’s Participating Police Force (PPF) is currently led by Commander Paul Osborne with a significant number of officers from across RAMSI’s contributing countries.

The initial focus of the PPF was on restoring law and order, collecting weapons and arresting suspected criminals. In the first year, 3700 firearms were removed from communities including approximately 700 high powered military style weapons and more than 3300 people were arrested, including 50 former militants.

Today, the PPF has stepped back from front-line policing and is instead focusing on working in partnership with the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) to progress the organisation into a modern, effective and independent police force which has the full confidence and support of the community. Building the capacity of officers is not a new stage in RAMSI’s role; this has been a consistent process of the PPF since RAMSI's inception.

The PPF is focused on enhancing RSIPF’s skills and capacity, especially in leadership development, public order management and the crucial logistics, human resources and administrative functions needed to support an effective functioning police force. The RSIPF faces ongoing logistical challenges across the country’s nine provinces and some 1000 islands, and issues resulting from rapid population growth in the urban centres.  The PPF is continuing to support the RSIPF and Solomon Islands Government to address these issues and develop strategies to ensure a sustainable solution for the nation.

RAMSI’s PPF continues to support provincial police posts through a mentoring program, communications and logistical support, police housing and station refurbishments. The PPF is also assisting the RSIPF to develop community crime prevention programs and strengthen community policing in rural and isolated communities. The PPF maintains a public order management capability and can be called upon to support the RSIPF if required.

RAMSI’s work in policing aims to achieve two outcomes for the RSIPF. First, that the RSIPF is capable of independently carrying out its mandated functions of maintaining law and order and targeting corrupt conduct in Solomon Islands. Secondly, that the RSIPFdevelop a model of policing that will be appropriate and affordable for the Solomon Islands once RAMSI eventually leaves.

Achievements so far

Since RAMSI’s work to strengthen the RSIPF began, significant progress has been made.

  • Law and order has been restored and maintained across the country, increasing community and investor confidence.
  • 3700 firearms were confiscated and more than 3300 arrests were made during the first year of RAMSI.
  • RAMSI has implemented a project for the construction of 84 new police houses and the refurbishment of a number of existing police houses plus the construction and refurbishments of a number of police stations and offices across Honiara and the Provinces.  This project aims to rebuild the confidence and conditions of its officers and to encourage officers to take up postings in provincial areas.
  • The RSIPF have developed and implemented a cyclical process for Strategic and Business Planning which includes change management processes and Key Performance Indicators using measurements from the Solomon Islands Government-RAMSI People’s Survey.
  • The RSIPF Academy is successfully developing and conducting a number of training programs including management and leadership and training of new police recruits.
  • Implementation of the Accelerated Professional Development Program in partnership with the University of South Pacific.
  • Upgrade of the radio communication network across Honiara and the Provinces.
  • Reduced the day to day policing role of PPF in 10 of the 13 Provinces allowing the RSIPF to take the lead.
  • Introduction of a Mentoring Program for the Provincial Police Commanders to maintain management and leadership support in the area of provincial policing
  • The RSIPF has improved and increased its operational safety and public order management response capabilities, and strengthened its police response team. 
  • Trained more than 40 officers in Close Personal Protection allowing the RSIPF to provide security for Solomon Island and visiting dignitaries.
  • The RSIPF took the lead in planning and providing security for the 2010 Solomon Islands National General Election, 2012 Oceania Football Confederation Nations Cup and for the Festival of Pacific Arts in July 2012.
  • The PPF have assisted the RSIPF in numerous land and sea Search and Rescue operations.

Transition

RAMSI PPF is not withdrawing, instead are commencing a process of development to create the opportunity for the RSIPF to resume full responsibility for policing the nation.

PPF in consultation with the RSIPF has developed the RAMSI PPF Transition Strategy 2010-2013, which seeks to focus the transition towards achieving objectives set out in the RSIPF’s Strategic Directions 2010 – 2013 and the SIG/RAMSI Partnership Framework.

The transition Strategy seeks to ensure PPF activities align with the RSIPF Strategic Directions 2010-2013 and reflect the emphasis away from the provision of executive policing to that of the ongoing objectives of foundation strengthening and support of the RISPF.