The Malaita Provincial Executive has expressed support for the crime prevention strategy being implemented by the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) under Commissioner Frank Prendergast.
Malaita Premier, Hon. Peter Ramohia and members of his Executive expressed the support during a meeting with Commissioner Prendergast, the RAMSI Special Coordinator, Quinton Devlin; Commander of the RAMSI Participating Police Force, Mark Ney and several other RSIPF Executive members in Auki on 11 March 2016.
RSIPF Commissioner, Mr Prendergast outlined to members of the Malaita Provincial Executive the broad range of programs and strategies the police are now implementing or developing so that it is ready when RAMSI leaves in June 2017.
“This includes the need to get the right amount of resources to fund the work of RSIPF and focusing on meeting the standards expected of a modern and professional police force. This includes demonstrating discipline, accountability, leadership and responsiveness and shifting to the new crime prevention model,” Commissioner Prendergast explained
“In the past, RSIPF has been a responsive drive force. Today the situation in Solomon Islands is more complex: the population has grown, alcohol and drug abuse is contributing violence in homes and in public, and traditional leadership structure in the communities have weakened.”
“We have to find ways to deal with the social problems we face. We need to understand what is causing the problems. If we deal with the causes, then it will be safer for everyone. To help prevent crime and to help the RSIPF enforce the law, the RSIPF needs the cooperation of the communities, including provincial governments,” RSIPF Commissioner Prendergast told the Malaita Provincial Executive.
In response, Malaita Premier, Mr Ramohia said it is good to know that RSIPF is taking steps to consolidate itself given that RAMSI is leaving in 2017.
“Prevention is better than cure. My government is happy to be part of the new crime prevention model. We need to prevent the crimes before they happen. I want to congratulate the Commissioner of Police Mr Prendergast for implementing this new model of policing,” said Premier Ramohia.
During the meeting, the RAMSI Special Coordinator, Mr Devlin also spoke about the planned withdrawal of RAMSI in 15 month’s time.
“The drawdown of RAMSI should be considered as a good news story as it is a signal that the RSIPF has made significant progress, and the national and provincial governments, as well as RAMSI itself, are comfortable and confident that the RSIPF is ready to take full responsibility for law and order and security in Solomon Islands,” said Mr Devlin
“But while RAMSI is leaving, it does not mean that international support for RSIPF will end. RAMSI contributing nations, particularly Australia and New Zealand, will continue to support the RSIPF long after RAMSI leaves,” said Mr Devlin.
Members of the Executive thanked RAMSI for its ongoing support, including a range of infrastructure projects in Malaita Province.
Before the meeting with the Malaita Provincial Executive, the RSIPF Commissioner and his delegation met with the police stationed in Auki and discussed the importance of upholding standards and engaging stakeholders as officer implement the crime prevention strategy.
Mr Prendergast also presented completion certificates to officers who completed the accountability training.