The Solomon Islands Police have taken over the control of policing in the Shortland Islands following the withdrawal of RAMSI Participating Police Force from the Lofung Post.

RAMSI Acting Special Coordinator, Wayne Higgins says the withdrawal of the PPF from Lofung last week followed several consultation meetings between the Solomon Islands Government, the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force, RAMSI and the chiefs and communities of the Shortland Islands.

Mr Higgins says the consultations included a meeting last November and again in February this year with chiefs and communities in the Shortlands and in Honiara with the Paramount Chief of Shortland Islands, Sir George Lepping and Secretary of the Famoa Trust Board, Edward Kingmele in March.

In a media statement, RAMSI says that in a show of appreciation for allowing the PPF Police Post to be located on traditionally owned land, RAMSI last week officially handed over the buildings and infrastructure built and used by the PPF at the Lofung Police Post to the Famoa Trust Board.

The properties were officially received by Sir George Lepping on behalf of the Board.

The Lofung Police Post is the eleventh post that PPF has withdrawn from in the past two years.

This is part of RAMSI’s transition which means that PPF has moved away from every day frontline policing to a more mentoring and support role.

RAMSI Police currently retain advisers at Gizo and Auki and also provide mentoring and logistical support to Police Commanders in the Provinces.