6 Apr 2005

Departing Solomons police chief says it will years before a Solomon Islander becomes commissioner

11:37 am on 6 April 2005

It will take years before the Solomon Islands police force is able to produce its own commissioner.

That's the view of departing commissioner Englishman, Bill Morrell, who is returning to Britain after failing to get an extension to his contract.

The post is to go to an Australian who is yet to be named.

Mr Morrell was brought in two years ago to rebuild a force compromised by its activities during the years of unrest.

He says he is satisfied to be leaving now but would have liked more time to complete his programmes.

And he says it will take at least five to seven years to get a Solomon Islander into the commissioner's role because of the need to also establish support around him or her.

"bearing in mind that the Royal Solomon Islands police has suffered enormously in terms of a lack of logistical support, a lack of leadership and training, and all of those things need to take time.."