A further contingent of AFP members has arrived in the Solomon Islands to support the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) ahead of the 2023 Pacific Games, which start next week.
More than 100 additional personnel will join AFP members already in Solomon Islands, who work in partnership with the RSIPF.
The RSIPF is leading the security operation for the Pacific Games, which runs from 19 November to 2 December, 2023.
At the request of the Solomon Islands Government, the AFP will assist the RSIPF in various capacities across Honiara and the games venues, in support of the RSIPF Pacific Games operation.
The AFP, through the ‘Solomons’ International Assistance Force’ (SIAF) and the ‘RSIPF and AFP Policing Partnership Program’ (RAPPP), has been working with the RSIPF to develop both operational planning and enhanced capabilities ahead of the games.
AFP support has included:
- Funding and managing infrastructure projects that are critical to the delivery of the Pacific Games, including the rebuild of the Kukum Police Station and upgrade of the RSIPF Police Operations Centre (POC);
- Delivery of community engagement activities with the RSIPF to establish key community contacts and relationships with Honiara youth and community leaders through engagement in sporting and cultural events;
- Establishing the RSIPF Drone Support Unit, including capability development, equipment and training to support the operational delivery of the Pacific Games;
- Uplifting RSIPF’s forensic capability with additional training, equipment and infrastructure upgrades;
- Facilitating tailored training and workshops in public order management (POM) and close personal protection (CPP);
- Facilitating exchange programs where RSIPF officers have travelled to Australia to work with the AFP in the areas of aviation, protection, intelligence, specialist capabilities and major events planning;
- Procuring equipment as part of a Pacific Games 2023 support package to bolster RSIPF’s ability to provide a safe and green games including POM equipment, ceremonial and operational police uniforms, and traffic and road safety equipment; and
- Providing vehicles to strengthen RSIPF’s mobility and operational capacity for the games, including a tEODor Remote Positioning Vehicle to manage the risk of explosive devices, four new vehicles to establish the RSIPF Mobile Protection Unit, nine vehicles for the RSIPF Police Response Team and a logistics truck.
The AFP has also supported a contingent of Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary officers to deploy to the Solomon Islands to assist with the security operation for the Pacific Games.
Commander Heath Davies said the AFP had listened to the needs of the RSIPF and assisted with preparations to ensure they were well equipped to deliver an effective games operation.
“The RSIPF is well positioned to lead the security efforts in executing a safe and secure Pacific Games, with the AFP ready to stand side-by-side with our counterparts,” Commander Davies said.
“The AFP is proud to be working alongside not only the people of the Solomon Islands and RSIPF but also other partners from across the Pacific, including Papua New Guinea, Fiji and New Zealand.
“The AFP has a long-standing and enduring partnership with the RSIPF, demonstrated through the sharing of resources and capability to ensure security challenges are met.
“Our members have been living and working in Solomon Islands for many years. They are part of the local community and will continue to play a big role in supporting the RSIPF and wider community well after the Pacific Games.
“The AFP, through SIAF and RAPPP, continues to foster a partnership that with the RSIPF that is dedicated to combatting future criminal and security threats across Solomon Islands and the broader Pacific region.
“We wish all athletes well – and coaches too, some of whom are AFP members who are training Pacific Island teams.”
RSIPF Commissioner Mostyn Mangau thanked the AFP for the increased support and ongoing partnership.
“The support the RSIPF has received from the AFP has been vital in ensuring we successfully execute a safe and secure Pacific Games,” Commissioner Mangau said.
“RSIPF officers from all areas of the police force have greatly benefited from the training and uplift in capability provided by the AFP. Solomon Islands are very proud to be hosting the Pacific Games with the RSIPF ready to protect the community during this significant event. The RSIPF looks forward to continuing the deep friendship and partnership with the AFP well into the future.”
The Pacific Games is being held in the Solomon Islands for the first time in more than 40 years. About 5000 participants from 24 Oceania countries and territories are expected to compete in 24 sports.
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