A former Commissioner of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) Frank Short believes it would be much appropriate of the Chinese Embassy in Honiara to send a letter of appreciation to the Police than giving them Christmas gifts.
Short who writes regularly to the Solomon Islands media – in his latest posting addresses policies and principles surrounding gifts to police. He expresses his view after the Republic of China on 18 December with Chinese state and privately-owned companies and the Chinese community in Solomon Islands donated New Year gifts to Honiara Central Police Station. The combined donation of foodstuff and solar lanterns was warmly welcomed and appreciated by Police Commander Honiara City, Superintendent John Matamaru, and Assistant Commissioner Simpson Pogeava and their team.
PRC Counselor Yao Ming in delivering the gifts extended his thanks to the efforts made by Honiara Central Police Station for the public security of the capital city and spoke highly of the professionalism and dedication of RSIPF.
But Short said: “I am inclined to take the view that the Chinese Embassy felt it honourable and the right thing to do in making such a considerable donation to the Honiara Central Police, but inappropriate in my many years of policing and knowledge of police standing orders on the receipt of gifts to the police.”
He continues: “I believe it would have been much more appropriate for Mr. Yao to have sent a letter to the Commissioner of Police expressing appreciation for the work of the Honiara Central Police Station and the personnel there.”
He said: “All the police services I have had the privilege of serving in had strict policy guidelines on accepting gifts. In 1998, when serving as the local police commissioner, I returned a single bottle of wine to a High Commission given to me at Christmas.”
Short pointed out that the New Zealand Police in particular has some strict policy guidelines on the subject stating that if not well managed could bring Police’s integrity into question, which in turn could undermine public trust and confidence.
Short was Commissioner of Police in Solomon Islands from 1997-1999.