The Solomon Islands Government has signed a Police Cooperation Plan with China. This is to bolster the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) with the aim of enhancing its capabilities and capacity. A Press Statement from the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet says the Implementation Plan focuses on upskilling and building the capacity of the 1,500 RSIPF officers responsible for ensuring the safety of the country’s 700,000 population.
The Police Programme, a collaboration between the Solomon Islands Ministry of Police, National Security and Correctional Service, and China’s Ministry of Public Security is said to complement existing police programs with Australia and New Zealand. The government says the move aligns with the Solomon Islands National Security Strategy and aims to diversify RSIPF training while expanding security partnerships. The government emphasises that cooperation with China and other partners is based on principles of equality, respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity, and non-interference in internal affairs.
The Implementation Plan outlines the areas of assistance covered by the Police Cooperation Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). These include extensive training in policing skills, provision of police equipment such as vehicles and UAVs, and training on their usage. The government highlights that some of this assistance has already been provided, with vehicles supplied and police officers trained, and expects this partnership to continue.
The Plan also includes support for the establishment of a completed Forensic Autopsy Lab, capacity building in cyber security, improvement of community-level policing, and traffic police training to enhance the traffic control system and strengthen the RSIPF’s capacity in traffic management.
Addressing concerns about regional peace and security, the Solomon Islands Government dismisses any notion that the improvement of RSIPF traffic control and management systems, provision of police equipment, or the completion of the Forensic Autopsy Lab pose a threat to the Pacific region.
The government said the need to address gaps in the RSIPF was highlighted by the 2006 Riots and further confirmed by the November Riots in 2021. The Implementation Plan is said to be a response to filling these gaps and aims to create a professional, effective, and robust RSIPF. The government emphasises that their objective is to provide a peaceful, safe, and secure society that instil confidence in the people, businesses, and investors.
The Solomon Islands Government urges respect for their sovereignty and the right to make decisions independently in the best interests of the country and its people.
Source: OPMC Press Secretariat