Acting Commissioner of Police, Peter Marshall, said that no member of the Solomon Islands Police Force (SIPF) is undertaking any form of firearm training.

Acting Commissioner Marshall was responding to claims made yesterday (Sunday 1 June 2008) by the Leader of the Opposition, the Honourable Manasseh Sogavare, that Close Personal Protection (CPP) officers are receiving firearm training by members of RAMSI's Participating Police Force (PPF).

"I can confidently state that no member of the SIPF is receiving firearm training by the PPF and that includes our own CPP members.

"I can assure the Leader of the Opposition and every Solomon Islander that firearm training is not occurring and it is definitely not occurring at GBR," Acting Commissioner Marshall said.

In a recent training exercise, SIPF CPP officers and their PPF counterparts conducted a scenario to ensure the roles of all personnel involved in close personal protection were clearly identified and understood if faced with an armed confrontation.

"This was a routine training exercise and could be the source of the concerns raised by the Leader of the Opposition. However, I can guarantee that no SIPF officers were using firearms or receiving any form of firearm training.

"We have conducted other training in consultation with the PPF in the past where they have used firearms. We have held several police capability days and not once has a SIPF officer used a firearm," Acting Commissioner Marshall said.