Despite the wild weather on Wednesday 21st September 2022 Police visited Holau Christian Academy (HCA) at Karaina Community (White River) in West Honiara to conduct an awareness talk.
Police Officers from the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) National Crime Prevention Department (NCPD) supported by members of the Australian Federal Police working as part of the Solomons’ International Assistance Force (SIAF), visited and held an awareness talk, interacting with students and teachers at the school.
This is the first time that the school has received a team of police officers in one of their classes. During their visit, officers spoke about a range of issues and gave students and teachers an idea of their work.
Students showed attentiveness throughout the session. Even teachers were curious about many things and asked lots of questions.
Constable Ashley John Marigeni from RSIPF NCPD talked about his role in the justice system and what police do in the communities.
Marigeni also spoke about why he joined the RSIPF, the process to gain entry to the police and the type of training he undertook while in the RSIPF’s Academy at Rove.
Reflecting on the school visit, Constable Marigeni said he is keen to see more school visits.
“School visits is also one of NCPD ongoing programs. It is important for the police to attend schools and get to know the students, as this helps break down some of the barriers and increases the young people’s confidence in the police,” Constable Marigeni said.
Matthew Lyddiard, AFP Inspector SIAF Operations, stated that, “The Australian Federal Police as part of the Solomons’ International Assistance Force looks for all opportunities to support the RSIPF; and community engagement with young people is an extremely important activity for police to undertake.”
Inspector Lyddiard said that SIAF will continue to support the RSIPF undertaking community engagement and other operational activities.
The principal of the school, Mrs. Daisy Mary Tepule, expressed her gratitude to the police for responding to their request to visit and talk to their students and teachers.
Mrs. Tepule said their students and teachers see police officers in a different way after the visit.
“It has become a normal thinking in the Solomon Islands that when police present anywhere an arrest or something bad will happen. In fact, Police officers are friends and not enemies,” Mrs. Tepule said.
“With this visit and awareness talk, we are relieved and happy that police demonstrated that they actually care for people’s safety. We want to thank them for visiting us.”
She appealed to the police to schedule more visits to their school and to other schools in Honiara.
“We look forward to more police visits and a stronger partnership with the police as their presence gives us a sense of protection. We look up to the police but when police come down and meet us, it is a satisfying experience,” Mrs. Tepule said.