Monday, 7 November 2011 9:45 AM

Worrying Signs Evident in Solomons

A former Police Commissioner of Solomon Islands, Mr. Frank Short has stated that there are some worrying signs for the future of Solomon Islands.

He says these include predictions that the national economy will experience great difficulties when, the logging industry collapses in 2015.

Mr Short says urban drift and unemployment have already seen a significant movement of people into Honiara and leading to the increase of informal settlements.

He says there is also an increase in anti-social behaviour, including vandalism, drugs and alcohol abuse, prostitution, petty crimes and, reportedly an increase in thefts, assaults and breaking offences.

Mr Short says on a broader scale, the global economic downturn, the changing weather patterns and risk of natural disasters, will add greater concerns and pressures on the government.

He also says the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Commission of Inquiry into Land Dealings and Abandoned Properties are still continuing their important work, the outcome of both Commissions will be critical to the maintenance of peace and reconciliation.

Mr Short says in view of those worrying signs, the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force, (RSIPF) must begin to address two questions in their planning.

He says firstly, where is the force now in relation to the needs of the external environment and, secondly where is the force now in terms of its own effectiveness and efficiency and to what extent does it meet the external needs.

Mr Short says an environmental scanning and corporate appraisal should quickly identify the strengths and weakness currently facing the police service.

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