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NZ police to help rebuild Solomons police


NZ police to help rebuild Solomons policing capacity

Ten New Zealand police officers depart New Zealand today as part of a three-year programme to help restore law and order in the Solomon Islands, said Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff and Police Minister George Hawkins.

The officers are taking part in the Solomon Islands Police Project in which New Zealand will work in partnership with the Solomon Islands Government to rebuild policing capacity in that country. This complements police assistance provided by Australia and the United Kingdom.

Solomon Islands Prime Minister Sir Allan Kemakeza has welcomed New Zealand's cooperation in assisting the Royal Solomon Islands Police force.

Mr Goff said the assistance is an important component in restoring peace and stability in the country.

"The restoration of law and order is the first priority for Solomon Islands and a pre-requisite for economic recovery. Without an improvement in both of these areas, the Solomons risk collapse with huge consequences not only for local people but also for regional stability, " Mr Goff said.

New Zealand Police officers will provide mentoring and on-the-job training to Royal Solomon Islands Police officers who are working in frontline policing and criminal investigations.

"The New Zealand officers themselves will not be put in front-line positions or have powers of arrest. Their role is an advisory and training one," Mr Hawkins said.

The Solomon Islands Policing Project is run by NZAID in collaboration with the New Zealand Police.

New Zealand officers have previous experience working in the Solomons including through their participation in the International Peace Monitoring Team which wound up its operation in June this year.

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