Friday, 31 October 2008 8:10 AM

Prime Minister and Cabinet Visit RAMSI Headquarters

RAMSI Special Coordinator Tim George and Participating Police Force (PPF) Commander Denis McDermott today welcomed the Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Dr Derek Sikua, and his Cabinet to RAMSI headquarters at the Guadalcanal Beach Resort (GBR).

During the visit Commander McDermott hosted a lunch and briefed Dr Sikua and the Cabinet ministers on the new strategy for developing the Solomon Islands Police force, "Moving Forward Together".

Mr George said that he was honoured to receive the Prime Minister and Cabinet to GBR. "I am very pleased to be able to welcome the Prime Minister and his Cabinet members to RAMSI's headquarters."

Mr George said today's visit also provided the ideal opportunity for the Commander of the PPF to brief the government on the plans for the next phase of policing in the Solomon Islands.

"Just as we've seen with correctional services, RAMSI wants to work with the Government to ensure local institutions have the capacity to do their job well and under local leadership," Mr George said.

Commander McDermott outlined to cabinet the "Moving Forward Together", strategy which is aimed at preparing the SIPF step-by-step to resume full responsibility for policing nationwide.

"Both the PPF and the SIPF have agreed this is the most appropriate way for our two organisations to develop the SIPF while we continue to provide the best service to the people of the Solomon Islands," Mr McDermott said.

Acting Commissioner for the SIPF, Walter Kola, said that the strategy is the result of long discussions and planning by the SIPF and the PPF.

"The SIPF and the PPF will continue to work together to provide a policing service to this country. Once we have spoken to everyone involved, including the people of the Solomon Islands, and we have seen the feedback from the public, we will move forward."

"Today has been a very constructive and informative day. It is one more step in the process of returning the total responsibility for policing in this country to the Solomon Islands Police Force," Acting Commissioner Kola said.

SOURCE: RAMSI Press Release

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