The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force held a significant planning workshop at Honiara Hotel last Friday to set their Strategic Directions in partnership with RAMSI Participating Police Force.

Acting Assistant Commissioner, Gwen Ratu led a presentation and discussion between RSIPF and PPF Executives to endorse the future direction of policing in the Solomon Islands from 2010 and beyond.

It was an opportunity for a high-ranking woman in the RSIPF to set the agenda with the full support of her fellow Executive officers, on the eve of the International Women's Day.

The workshop followed an RSIPF planning day in January this year where the current Strategic Directions framework for 2005 to 2010 was reviewed. Since then a survey of all RSIPF staff across all operational area have been conducted.

The plan outlined the Mission, Vision, Goals and Values for serving officers of the RSIPF.

Ms Ratu and her Directions and Standards Portfolio conducted a survey with police officers from both the Administration and Standards and Operations portfolios, representing the RSIPF workforce of 1039 officers.

"So far we have received a 17.5 percent response rate from the organisation supporting the direction the RSIPF is now taking. This was a good response," she said.

"The survey responses highlight the importance of training at all levels to help officers to understand the Strategic Directions," she said.

Ms Ratu said that setting Strategic Directions is about how RSIPF want to deliver police services to the government and the people of Solomon Islands. The RSIPF's intent is to gain the community's confidence which is a key element of the plan.

"This process is about setting the operational goals and performance standards for the RSIPF to improve community confidence in our police service," she said.

"Since 2005, the RSIPF has taken responsibility and ownership for planning its priorities. As part of that process, the RSIPF Executive is now developing its Strategic Directions for endorsement by the RSIPF National Management Team."

These plans were discussed at the workshop today and a key outcome of the meeting was support to adjust the RSIPF planning cycle from five years to four years. This period gives the RSIPF sufficient time to implement these Strategic Directions and report back to the Solomon Islands Government and community about its progress.

Ms Ratu said she has gained experience in an Acting Assistant Commissioner's role since 2006. She is the second woman in the RSIPF to be awarded with the rank of Chief Superintendent.

The first woman was Chief Superintendent Juanita Matanga who currently serves as the Director of Human Resources.

With a strong background in training, Ms Ratu led program development for the Police Academy for several years and was a mentor to the current Acting Director of Learning and Development, Inspector Anika Nausi.

Ms Ratu recently took on the role of the Assistant Commissioner Direction and Standards in February this year.

"I'm enjoying this role and I am optimistic with the way the RSIPF wants the organisation to head," she said.

"My professional development in leadership roles within the RSIPF has been helped through training provided by the Australian Institute of Police Management Leadership Training Program since 2006 under RAMSI."

"This RSIPF Strategic Direction project is being developed with capacity building support from my PPF Advisors," she said.

Ms Ratu said she is looking forwarded to joining the International Women's Day march that will be held in Central Honiara today from 7.30am to 8.30am.

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