5 Apr 2005

Departing Solomons police commissioner would have liked more time on job

8:19 pm on 5 April 2005

Australians will hold the two top positions in the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force following the completion of Englishman Bill Morrell's contract at the end of last month.

Mr Morrell had hoped for an extension to his two years as commissioner but Australia had offered to fund the position and put forward several candidates.

The Solomons Police Minister, Augustine Taneko, says he will not be in a position to name the new commissioner until later in the week, but confirms it will go to an Australian.

That person will join Sandi Peisley, the current deputy commissioner and the top police officer with the Regional Assistance Mission.

Mr Morrell says he would have liked to have seen through programmes he had put in place.

"But I am satisfied to be leaving at this time and feel that the work that we have done is paying off the dividends now and it is wonderful to see the younger police officers, and the police officers who have been through all the tension and have been subdued by the militants, now coming into their own and going forward."