Australia maintains key policing role in Solomons
Australia to maintain key policing role in Solomons
One of Australia's most senior female police officers will take over as Commander of the Participating Police Force in Solomon Islands next month.
Australian Federal Police (AFP) Assistant Commissioner Sandi Peisley, who has significant experience in the international policing environment, will also be sworn in as a Deputy Commissioner with the Royal Solomon Islands Police (RSIP).
AFP Assistant Commissioner and the current Deputy Commissioner of the RSIP, Ben McDevitt, will finish his term as commander at the end of July, coinciding with the one-year anniversary of the Regional Assistance Mission in Solomon Islands (RAMSI).
The Australian government is delighted that Assistant Commissioner Peisley has accepted this important role and is confident that she has the skills and experience to continue the excellent progress made to date.
Assistant Commissioner Peisley's background includes community policing roles such as general duties, drug squad and internal investigations as well as management roles such as Commander Operations ACT Policing and General Manager of Operations in South Australia.
She has significant experience in the international environment including United Nations Civilian Police Peacekeeping in Cyprus and Commissioner of the UN Police contingent in East Timor.
Her commitment and efforts in these complex and difficult roles have been widely acclaimed by the UN and other key stakeholders.
The Government is also grateful for the sterling service provided over the last year by Assistant Commissioner McDevitt and his contingent of police from Australia, New Zealand, Tonga, Samoa, Cook Islands, Vanuatu, Nauru and Fiji, who have won the confidence and trust of the Royal Solomon Islands Police and the community at large.
Acting Commissioner McDevitt has earnt enormous respect for his work in the Solomons including acting as RSIP Commissioner and his diligent and consultative approach to a very challenging job.
Over the past 12 months, significant inroads have been made to restore law and order to the Solomon Islands after years of turmoil at the hands of rebel militants.
More than 2000 people have been arrested in Solomon Islands, including key militant figures such as Harold Keke and Jimmy Rasta. Police have also seized 3,730 weapons and more than 300,000 rounds of ammunition.
The law enforcement arm of RAMSI has not only restored law and order, they have also brought about important long-term change.
A strategic review of the RSIP is underway which is leading to an overhaul of police services in the Solomon Islands.
By working side by side with the RSIP, our Australian officers and their counterparts in the South Pacific are helping to change the culture and rebuild the capacity of the Island's police service.