Provincial Police Commanders to assist with rearmament community consultation

The Provincial Police Commanders (PPCs) of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF), stationed in Provinces throughout the country, are to assist with the community consultations on the staged limited rearmament of the RSIPF.

This follows a presentation on the staged limited rearmament of the RSIPF during the annual PPC’s conference held in Honiara between 1 – 5 June 2015.

“As the working group on the limited rearmament of RSIPF will not be able to reach all the communities throughout the country and because community consultation is a critical part of the project, it is fitting that the PPCs are tasked to assist in the community consultations when they visit communities in their respective provinces as part of their normal community policing duties,” said Gabriel Manelusi, Assistant Commissioner of Police and co-chair of the limited rearmament working group.

ACP Manelusi explained: “The PPCs have been given the necessary information about the project and more importantly will provide feedback from the communities to the project team.”

“As the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands draws down and the RSIPF is expected to take full responsibility of the security of our nation, it is important that information on the limited rearmament of the RSIPF is passed onto the communities. The communities are encouraged to invite PPCs to their community events as these present good opportunities to pass on information about this important project,” said Mr Manelusi

In 2013, the Government decided to prepare for the eventual draw down of RAMSI and this prompted the Ministry of Police, RSIPF and RAMSI Participating Police Force to start working on the rearming units of the Force.  The three areas to be armed are elements within the Police Response Team (PRT) the Close Personal Protection Unit (CPP) and police responsible for security at International Airports.

The project is in its first stage which includes the training of officers in these areas, and construction of a firing range and an armoury.  The project will only progress to Stage 2 on satisfactory completion of Stage 1 and approval by the Government.

The community consultation is also part of the first stage of the project. The consultations, which started in mid-2014, have so far included presentations to church, women and youth groups, the media as well as some communities in and outside of Honiara. Presentations have also been made to the Guadalcanal, Western, Makira, Isabel and Renbel provincial executives and assemblies.