Honiara : 4 June 2017
Letters to the Editors, Island Sun and Solomon Times Newspapers.
The RSIPF Police Commissioner, speaking with the Premier of the Western Province last Thursday, reportedly said 44 police advisors from New Zealand and Australia are expected to work alongside the members of the RSIPF after RAMSI leaves at the end of June this year.
Mr. Varley explained the advisors will be in the country as mentors and trainers to continue building the capacity of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force.
He went on to add, "They will have the responsibility that RAMSI has had and they will be closely aligned with our senior key people.”
I am guessing that the current overall establishment of the RSIPF is in the order of 1,200 members which would see at least one trainer assigned to every 27 members of the Force. If it is intended the trainers should only be ‘aligned with our senior people.’ as Mr. Varley hinted, then each senior could see as many as 4 or 5 trainers working with them.
On the assumption that the mentoring programme will concentrate on the senior key people in the Force, what will be the role of the trainers in the context of building their capacity?
From a personal viewpoint, I would think that there should be a strong focus on key national objectives, security, local policing plans and financial management, corporate crime, anti-corruption and investigations, prosecutions and road traffic enforcement, but extending widely to cover managerial tasks, both simple and complex, across the organization, benefitting a modern, accountable and professional police service.
I would go further by saying management instruction should extend across the board and concentrate on such things as:-
Strategic management and planning, the management of finance, managing people (including leadership and motivation, team management and public/customer awareness), managing change, managing information, managing technology, managing projects and operations, managing the police image and managing a fully accountable police service.
Things I believe are important to consider are that community policing is the bedrock for effective policing of the Solomon Islands and no effort should be spared in ensuring the success of the RSIPF in meeting public expectations in police planning and enforcement actions in cooperation with the communities the length and breadth of the nation.
Secondly, generic management skills should extend into the training of the more junior police officers for they; too, have responsibilities for managing resources, especially information if a detective officer and management responsibilities in their investigations.
Finally, I would urge the intended trainers to have the wisdom to ask the serving members of the RSIPF – those doing the jobs – to identify the nature of their work and requirements they would most like to see improved and helped with.