A review team from the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) comprises of few heads of departments within the RSIPF organisation including two Assistant Commissioners are currently at the Western border between Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea (SI-PNG) to review police involvement in its operation to support the government through the Ministry of Health and Medical Services.
Assistant Commissioner (AC) of Police National Capital and Crime Prevention (RSIPF COVID-19 Operation Commander) Simpson Pogeava says, “Solomon Islands is currently in a Public Health State of Emergency as declared by the Governor General of Solomon Islands on Wednesday 26March 2020.”
This State of Public Emergency has been extended recently on 29 March 2021. This is in response to the global novel coronavirus pandemic declared by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the subsequent threat of the associated disease (COVID-19) which killed millions of people throughout the world.”
AC Pogeava says, “It is now more than a year for the RSIPF COVID-19 Western border operation hence a full review of the operation is necessary and significant. The full review of the operation will enhance a thorough review conducted since day one of the operation.”
Operation Commander Pogeava adds, “In supporting the COVID-19 operation, Police officers
- Ensure Law and order is maintained.
- Prevent prohibited redline crossings to restrict the introduction of COVID-19 to avoid the spread through Western, Malaita Outer Islands and Choiseul communities;
- Supporting the Health Sector Response on the SI-PNG Border Declared Emergency Zone;
- Ensuring safety and security in providing the enabling environment for facilitate SIG COVID-19 preparedness and responses; and
- Supporting humanitarian principle application on the international maritime border situations of national security and COVID-19.”
It is evident on the operation that RSIPF has been deploying significant resources to the Western Border since April 2020. The nature of this operation will require significant ongoing deployment of resources in terms of personnel and mobility including Maritime.
Mr Pogeava says, “Review team visited Kulitanae Police Station and Kariki Police Post on 19 May 2021 and Harapa Police Post and one observation post at Komaliae on 20 May 2021.”
“During the visit to the police posts there were many challenges faced by our police officer was raised but that did not back them down to stop them from continuing with what they were mandated to do for the people of Shortland Islands, the government and our country.”
AC Pogeava says, “I want to acknowledge the communities in Shortland Islands for supporting our deployed officers in working together with them to avoid COVID-19 entry through the Western border.”
The RSIPF review team visit Shortland’s, Mono, Choiseul and Western Province to meet with other stakeholders and Provincial Government.