20 Aug 2002

Solomon Islands police welcome posting of ten NZ officers to Honiara

10:35 am on 20 August 2002

Solomon Islands Deputy Police Commissioner says the presence of ten New Zealand officers will make a lot of difference to their front line operations.

New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark has confirmed that the police would be sent in October, as part of an initiative with Australia and the European Union to help restore law and order.

The Solomon Islands ongoing law and order problems have been partly blamed on a force compromised by its association with former militants, low morale, and a lack of support from political leaders.

Deputy Commissioner, Wilfred Akau, says the New Zealand officers will provide practical help to front line police.

"They will be accompanying front line operational constables, advising them of the role of the constable and also giving them guidance, questioning what their roles are and how to deal with certain situation, sort of giving them directions."

Deputy Police Commissioner, Wilfred Akau

The Deputy prime minister, Snyder Rini, says Solomon Islands has accepted an offer from Britain to provide a new police chief who is expected in Honiara before the end of the year.

Mr Rini says the offer was made and accepted during bilateral talks between the two countries at the post-Forum dialogue session in Nadi.