AFP Commissioner and Solomon Islands PM Tour Training Centre Aimed at Enhancing Policing Partnership,

Australia, Police

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The Australian Federal Police (AFP) Commissioner Reece Kershaw and Solomon Islands Prime Minister Jeremiah Manele recently embarked on a tour of the AFP’s Specialist Operational Training Centre in Pinkenba, Queensland. This visit showcased the AFP’s capabilities and its commitment to supporting Pacific police forces and strengthening in-country policing partnerships.

Commissioner Kershaw emphasized the importance of the partnership with Solomon Islands, highlighting their close proximity and the vital role they play in the Pacific region. The AFP has been assisting Solomon Islands in developing a strong policing capability since 2003 and remains committed to continuing this collaboration in the future.

The tour of the Specialist Operational Training Centre highlighted the ongoing work to equip the facility with state-of-the-art resources. It will offer various training programs, including operational safety, public order management, investigations, close personal protection, canine and forensics capabilities, as well as surveillance techniques.

The visit followed discussions between Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Prime Minister Manele in Canberra, where they explored ways for Australia to assist in building the capacity of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF). This request from Solomon Islands aims to enhance sovereignty and regional stability.

Commissioner Kershaw emphasized the valuable learning environment provided by the training centre, which allows law enforcement personnel from different jurisdictions to train together. The AFP and its partners can acquire new skills and knowledge and apply them in their respective areas.

The AFP’s Policing Partnership Program (RAPPP) continues to support the RSIPF in its security priorities and the delivery of a standard policing model for Solomon Islands. The AFP also deploys police officers to the Solomons International Assistance Force (SIAF), established in response to civil unrest in November 2021. SIAF, composed of police and military components, includes contingents from the AFP, the Australian Defence Force, New Zealand Defence Force, the Republic of Fiji Military Forces, and Fiji Police Force.

The AFP’s ongoing presence in Solomon Islands has contributed to maintaining peace and security, with recent successes such as supporting the delivery of the 2023 Pacific Games and the April 2024 Joint Elections.

The tour of the Specialist Operational Training Centre and the discussions between Prime Minister Albanese and Prime Minister Manele further strengthen the partnership between Australia and Solomon Islands in combating criminal threats, protecting communities, and promoting regional safety.

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