Additional members of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) have landed in Honiara yesterday (8 November) ahead of the 17th Pacific Games event which will get underway in Honiara in just over a week time.
The AFP members were greeted by the Australian High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, Rod Hilton, the AFP Solomon Islands Commander, Heath Davies, and Commissioner of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF), Mostyn Mangau, at the Henderson International Airport tarmac upon arrival.
Over 100 AFP members who arrived will joined their colleagues who are already in the country.
AFP members will be supporting the RSIPF in planning, coordinating and executing a safe and secure event.
At the request of the Solomon Islands Government, AFP members will be assisting 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.
Among other things, the AFP has been supporting the RSIPF with;
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.
Commander 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,” Commander Davies said.
RSIPF Commissioner 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,
RSIPF officers from all areas of the police force have greatly benefited from the training and uplift in capability provided by the AFP,” Commissioner Mangau said.
He said the Solomon Islands is 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,” Commissioner Mangau added.
About 5,000 people from 24 countries and territories in the pacific are expected in Honiara in the coming days to compete in the Games which will start on 19th November to 2nd December. This is the first time in more than 40 years the Pacific Games is hosted in the Solomon Islands.
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