Australia and Pacific police partners building capability through connection

“In the Pacific, we need to work together. We need to be engaging with each other and sharing information in order for us to combat forecasted crimes.”

Pacific police and AFP representatives recently met in the Cook Islands to map out how they can work together to boost capability development across the region over the next 12 months.

The Pacific Community for Law Enforcement Cooperation (PCLEC) National Coordinators Forum was held last month to allow the members to discuss how the PCLEC network could be strengthened, while exploring options and solutions to challenges that may arise in the coming years.

Image: PCLEC forum (Source: CANVA)

AFP Detective Superintendent Kathryn Polkinghorne said the AFP was committed to the PCLEC in collaboration with its Pacific police partners. She said:

“The sharing of resources and information in a collaborative Pacific way supports regional safety and security.”

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Det-Supt Polkinghorne added:

“National Coordinators are the eyes and ears of PCLEC. They play an important role in keeping the region informed about the priorities of Pacific law enforcement agencies, so it is important they come together to pave a way forward.”

Further, Det-Supt Polkinghorne observed:

“The forum enables stronger collaboration across the PCLEC network, which will support the growth and evolution of PCLEC into the future.”

Cook Islands Police Service (CIPS) Inspector Solomona Tuaati said the CIPS was proud to host this year’s PCLEC forum.

Inspector Tuaati said:

“In the Pacific, we need to work together. We need to be engaging with each other and sharing information in order for us to combat forecasted crimes.”

The PCLEC is a Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police (PICP) initiative established in 2020 to build the capability of Pacific police organisations through coordination and the sharing of information and resources across the region.

Image: PCLEC forum (Source: CANVA)

The PCLEC assisted with coordinating 36 operational engagement requests in 2023, spanning across all five of the PICP priority areas of intelligence, investigations, officer wellbeing, gender and family harm, and emergency management.

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The productive discussions during the forum canvassed national and regional priorities for police capability development, strategies for addressing these requirements, and options for enhancing the coordination role performed by PCLEC.  Opportunities for donor support, including through the AFP’s Law Enforcement Cooperation Program, were also explored.

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