Law enforcement in the Solomon Islands

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The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) is the national police force of Solomon Islands and in January 2015 had an establishment of approximately 1,153 officers and 43 police stations across the country. Solomon Islands has no standing army, navy or air-force.

Between 1998 and 2003 unresolved land issues lead to significant civil conflict, the tensions, and a major break-down of law and order. On the request of the Governor-General, an international response was organised, the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI), led by Australia, which restored peace. [1] The RSIPF was disarmed following the ethnic conflict, and RAMSI temporarily provided the armed policing and response capability. RAMSI subsequently rebuilt local capacity in the areas of police, corrections and justice and gradually transferred its powers to local authorities.

The RSIPF was initially supported by a large number of RAMSI police officers but by January 2015 was supported by approximately 152 international officers under a number of bilateral arrangements with the Solomon Islands Government; generally these expatriate officers have no executive powers but serve as advisors and continue to build capacity within the RSIPF.

The RSIPF is headed by the Commissioner for Police who report to the Minister of National Security, Police and Correctional Services. Historically, several of these have been expatriates under contract. On 22 December 2006, an Australian Federal Police officer, Shane Castles, then serving as the Commissioner under a contract funded by the Australian government was declared by the Solomon Islands Government to be an "undesirable immigrant" while he was out of the country and was not allowed to return.

The Solomon Islands Government has approved the staged, limited rearmament of the RSIPF including the Police Response Unit, Close Personal Protection Unit and Aviation Policing. [2]

The RSIPF Professional Standards and Internal Investigations Unit monitors police discipline and performance.

List of RSIPF Commissioners[edit]

Name Term of Office Notes
Start End
Sir Fred Soaki 1982 1996
Frank Short CBE July 1997 June 1999
Morton Siriheti July 2000 December 2002
Bill Morrell (UK) 28 January 2003 March 2005 [3][4]
Shane Castles (AFP) April 2005 December 2006 [4][5]
(vacant) December 2006 15 May 2007 [5]
Mohammed Jahir Khan (Fiji) 15 May 2007 May 2008 [5]
Peter Marshall (acting) (NZ) May 2008 March 2009
Peter Marshall March 2009 7 February 2011
Walter Kola (Acting) 7 February 2011 2 May 2012
John Lansley (UK) 2 May 2012 2 May 2013
Juanita Matanga (Acting) 3 May 2013 29 August 2014
Frank Prendergast (AFP) 29 August 2014 Present [6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.ramsi.org/about-ramsi/
  2. ^ http://www.ramsi.org/works/firearms/
  3. ^ "The Pacific's first failed state?". The Economist. 13 February 2003. Retrieved 7 April 2011. 
  4. ^ a b "Australian set for top cop job". The Age. 6 April 2005. Retrieved 7 April 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c "Fijian is new Solomon's police chief". Nine News. 15 May 2007. Retrieved 7 April 2011. 
  6. ^ "New Solomons Police Commissioner sworn in". www.radionz.co.nz. Retrieved 29 August 2014. 

External links[edit]