Three Solomon Islands police officers are heading to Australia to help train new members of RAMSI's Participating Police Force (PPF).Solomon Islands Police Force (SIPF) officers, Inspector Juanita Matanga, Constable MacArthur Pania and Constable Oliver Buira left for Australia today after being invited by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to work with Australian police trainers at the International Deployment Group (IDG).
The IDG is the arm of the AFP which prepares Australian and Pacific Island police for deployments to countries all around the world, including the Solomon Islands.
PPF Commander Denis McDermott said yesterday that the importance of properly training police deploying to Solomon Islands in local culture, customs and practice was well recognised.
"One of the smartest ways to this is to utilise the wealth of knowledge and expertise within the SIPF," Mr McDermott said. SIPF officers have been assisting with the training of IDG deployments for the past two years he said.
"Our training in culture, custom and practice has taken a direction where the theory is reinforced by good practical exercises which are supervised by Solomon Islands Police." "We have found it very effective way of giving our people a good grounding in Solomon Islands culture before they arrive here," Mr McDermott said.
The SIPF members who departed today are very experienced officers. Inspector Matanga currently works in Strategic Planning and Policy, Constable Pania in the Criminal Investigation Division and Constable Buira in National Investigations.
They will be assisting the IDG trainers with all activities related to the pre-deployment course but their main focus will be on formal and informal presentations on Solomon Islands culture.
These presentations will range from pidgin language training through to explaining such issues as the importance of the wantok system and its impact on policing practices in Solomon Islands.