9 January 2019
Solomon Islands: Clarification on a suggested Police Inspections and Audit Unit.
His Excellency the Governor General in his address to the Nation at the start of the New Year spoke about what he perceived to be a lack of discipline in the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) and called for a Commission of Enquiry to look into his concerns.
In a brief letter I wrote to the media joining in the debate, I suggested one answer to the reported ill-discipline matters might be the establishment of an Inspection Unit based at police headquarters and the appointment of one or more Inspection Officers that could be assigned by the Commissioner of Police to visit all line facilities throughout the country to undertake regular inspections and monitor the effectiveness of police operations and personnel to ensure compliance with orders and policies.
I received several queries following my letter asking for more clarification of the work of an Inspection Unit and I am happy to give further details to elaborate on what I envisaged might be useful.
It was my experience having served in several police organizations that an Inspections and Audit Unit helped to ensure that the police force members complied with Police Standing Orders and pursued the police department goals and objectives with administrative efficiency and operational effectiveness.
Formal inspections were done at the direction of the Commissioner of Police, and reports forwarded to him.
The Commissioner of Police had an Inspection Officer, or a team of such personnel, to perform staff inspections and audits.
The examinations were conducted both on a routine and as needed basis, generating reports for consideration by the Commissioner of Police, thereby providing valuable information with regard to departmental planning efforts and content of training programs, operational effectiveness, compliance with orders, discipline, morale and welfare etc.
A typical Inspection and Audit Unit might be tasked with undertaking the following.
•The enforcement of Police Standing Orders and Administrative Orders
• any delays, irregularities etc in the investigation of criminal or disciplinary cases
• the registers of crimes investigated, the investigation of criminal cases and the handling of files on criminal cases
• the safety, maintenance and transfer of exhibits
• buildings, installations, facilities and equipment
• the use of procedures, means and methods for effective policing
• the competency, efficiency, discipline, and training of personnel
• the detention conditions and treatment of detainees
• relations between the police and the public
• the execution of warrants, decrees and other orders (judiciary, military, etc.)
• The appropriate use of governmental property (vehicles, equipment, etc)
I trust this follow up to my original correspondence might be of use to those in authority wishing to continue the debate on how His Excellency the Governor General’s concerns might be further addressed in the knowledge that the Commissioner of Police has said he is committed to improving discipline in the RSIPF and working with his senior colleagues to bring about improvements.