The AFP and Kiribati Police Service (KPS) have joined forces to boost local police officers’ capability in conducting and solving complex investigations.
This month, the AFP delivered a two-week investigations training program for Kiribati Police Service (KPS) officers from the outer islands, the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) and the Police Training Academy.
The course focused on current policing powers, police ethics and professionalism, diversity, intelligence, dealing with victims and witnesses, and practical sessions on taking statements, file preparation and giving evidence in court.
During the program, police officers followed a scenario where they had to apply complex investigations techniques, including executing search warrants. They also worked through a case study of a homicide investigation involving foreign nationals.
The AFP provided the KPS with six new video cameras, which will be available in police stations across Kiribati and enable officers to digitally record their interviews with suspects instead of taking statements by hand. This is a significant step in helping to enhance and modernise the KPS and was welcomed by the Kiribati Department of Public Prosecution (DPP).
AFP Commander Pacific Melinda Phelan said it was great to again provide investigations training to the KPS.
“The officers who took part in this training now have the knowledge and skills to take on more complex investigations to keep their communities safe,” Commander Phelan said.
“The AFP works closely with the KPS to ensure we continue to boost the capability of all members based across the country, including those on the outer islands, to keep all communities safe.
“But just as importantly, I know AFP members always learn something new from our Pacific partners.”
KPS Acting Assistant Commissioner Nakibwae Rateki said the investigations program was very valuable to his officers.
“The training provided great tools and processes for the better investigation of criminal offences,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Rateki said.
“I thank the AFP for its continued support.”
KPS Officer Commanding Station Abemama, Eritabeta Teiri said he was glad to have undertaken the training.
“The investigations training has given me a wide range of understanding on what I should do as an investigator and apply that to my work, especially when encountering complex cases,” Officer Teiri said.
Throughout the program, KPS and the Kiribati Government provided a number of subject matter experts from the CID, Intelligence, Forensics, Domestic Violence Unit, Kiribati DPP as well as the Kiribati Acting Attorney General Pauline Beiatiau.
The investigations training forms part of a suite of capability building programs the AFP is delivering to the KPS to further develop and up-skill police officers.