Solomon Islands’ acting police commissioner, Juanita Matanga has warned that officers who collude with members of the public will be dealt with severely.

The increased capacity of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force is being emphasised, as the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands is downsized to a policing-only operation for the next four years.

But there’s widespread belief in the community that police corruption is as much an issue as it was 10 years ago when RAMSI police officers first entered the country to help restore law and order following the ethnic tensions.

Juanita Matanga says there must be true partnership between the police and the community in order to combat ongoing challenges - such as catching escaped prisoners.

“If I know that some officers know who these people are, where they are, if I have the evidence, I will deal with them severely. And this is why I’m talking about rising up to the challenge,” says Solomon Islands’ acting police commissioner, Juanita Matanga.