4 November 2022
Read the article in today’s edition of the Solomon Star newspaper for the details.
Yesterday, a writer commented in a post on Linkedin –
“Australia has gifted 60 semiautomatic weapons to the Solomon Islands police. This is not in our national interests. Nor is it consistent with our national values.”
Today, one reads in the Solomon Star newspaper the full story of the gifting and rather a cynical comment by the writer of the piece which could be interpreted as the PRC having turned the tables on the Australians in again giving passive material support to aid the RSIPF, by way of supporting community policing policy and initiatives.
The donation of motor vehicles and motor cycles by the PRC, I can only appreciate being the initiator of the community policing programme 1997 but refrain from saying too much, other than saying I hope the transport fleet will be well maintained, properly serviced, carefully operated and used to cement and improve police-public relations at a time when such a relationship is highly desirable.
Community policing is a better way forward than by an arming the police with rifles that could easily be used without regard to the basic and international standards laid down for the use of minimum force at all times.
I am gratified to know the community policing approach to partnership policing has been boosted and it would be my wish the RSIPF puts every effort into community liaison meetings to give better insights of community problems and then taking proactive measures – and speedily – to help solve the concerns that have soured community feelings towards the police.
Those selected to lead community policing tasks must be properly trained and have intelligence skills, practical ideas, empathy and be able to find workable solutions to a whole variety of community concerns which would include bringing back trust and respect for chiefs, elders, seniors, unemployed youths, women and girls, helping to find workable solutions to family and domestic violence, alcohol abuse, including the illegal brewing and consumption of kwaso, the spike in sexual violence, assaults, land rights concerns and access to justice and health care, to mention just a few of the matters that currently need to be addressed by community police liaison officers and their seniors.