Monday, 3 December 2007 5:47 PM

Police Launch New Policy on Sexual Abuse

The Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Jahir Khan, today launched the new Solomon Islands Police Force (SIPF) policy on Sexual Abuse.

In his remarks, Mr. Khan paid tribute to the Program Manager for the Pacific Prevention of Domestic Violence (PPDVP), Mr Cam Ronald, adding that the SIPF would be actively seeking support from the PPVDP to further its initiative to combat domestic violence.

Commissioner Khan, in his address, said the 'NO DROP' (Sexual Violence) Policy reflects the SIPF position of zero tolerance with regards to sexual offences and Domestic Violence.

The policy is an initiative of the police and it is an adjunct to the Family Violence Policy Document.

The Commissioner of Police pointed out that sexual violence is one of the most degrading crimes against a person that cannot be tolerated in any society, which is one of the strongest stances that SIPF has taken.

Speaking about the policy, Mr. Khan said that it is intended to immediately ensure all sexual violence cases are properly investigated and prosecuted.

"Where there is evidence to support the allegation, then it will proceed to court," he added. "This will apply even in cases where the victim wishes to withdraw or reconcile."

The policy very clearly state that the SIPF will not participate in reconciliation or the withdrawal of charges.

Commissioner Khan confirmed that the SIPF do not have the power or the authority to become involved in such processes.

"As of now, the SIPF will not participate in reconciliation on attached to prosecution reported to file, any officer fails to comply with this policy will be subjected to disciplinary", says Mr Khan.

"I make it clear that if any officer fails to comply with this policy or fails to thoroughly investigate a complaint of sexual or domestic violence then that officer will be subject to disciplinary action. I cannot stress that enough," Commissioner Khan said.

"We must take every step and take a strong stand on sexual violence. As we have been saying, Sexual Violence and Domestic Violence are crimes, serious crimes," he said.

Also speaking at the launch, Mr. Ronald said the policy was jointly established by 21 Pacific Islands when they came together in New Zealand to sign a common agreement policy of "One Drop".

"It is good to see Solomon Islands willing to put the sexual violence policy in the SIPF," said Mr Cam.

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