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Solomon Islands Police thank Australia for help

THE Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) commends the Government of Australia and other development partners for their assistance towards the work of the Force in addressing gender based violence in Solomon Islands.

“We have our challenges in the implementation of the Family Protection Act since it became effective in 2016 but the assistance from the Government of Australia through the former Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) and the new bilateral Solomon Islands Police Development Program (SIPDP) and the cooperation from other stakeholders including non-government organisation has enabled the RSIPF to bring to the forefront the impact of family violence on our communities,” says Supervising Commissioner of Police, Juanita Matanga.

Ms Matanga was speaking during a meeting held at the Rove Police Headquarters today 17 January with seven Australian Parliamentarians who are currently in Solomon Islands on a visit to Australian-funded projects.

The visit is being organised by Save the Children Australia (SCA) under the Australian Aid and Parliament Project, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which aims to expose Australian parliamentarians to Australian aid programs.  The group visiting Solomon Islands includes Trevor Evans MP (Liberal), Chris Crewther MP (Liberal), Susan Lamb MP (Labor), Senator Murray Watt (Labor), Milton Dick MP (Labor), Julian Hill MP (Labor) and Senator Derryn Hinch (Justice Party), as well as Australian Council for International Development President Susan Pascoe, News Limited journalist Annika Smethurst and three people from SCA.

“Some of the challenges facing the RSIPF includes the remoteness of the islands which means many times a  boat is the only mode of transport to respond to any gender based violence  incident,” says Supervising Assistant Commissioner, National Capital, Patricia Leta who also spoke at the meeting with the Australian MPs.

ACP, Leta adds: “Other challenges include limited human resources and other resources within the RSIPF and the lack of communication to the communities.”

“Despite these challenges, we are so fortunate that the communities and other stakeholders are greatly supporting us to ensure that gender based violence victims receive proper service required from the community level to the police station,” says ACP Leta.

During the meeting with the Australian MPs, the Commander of the Solomon Islands Police Development Program (SIPDP), John Tanti and his Advisors briefed the MPs on the projects that the Program is working on to assist the RSIPF in combating gender based violence in the country. This includes in the areas of infrastructure, community engagement, organisational change within the RSIPF, learning and development, leadership and strategy and investigations.

“In progressing these areas, we not only work closely with our RSIPF counterparts but also with other Solomon Islands Government agencies, other programs funded by Australian Aid, civil society, intergovernmental organisations, NGOs and other bilateral policing programs,” says SIPDP Commander Tanti.

– Police Media

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