Police reassure country of tight security at common border
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN
MEMBERS of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) have beefed up security measures to guard the common Western Province border by operating around the clock on a 24/7 operation.
Deputy Police Commissioner Ian Vaevaso revealed this yesterday to re-assure the country RSIPF members are continuing to provide tight security on this side of the country’s border to prevent Covid-19 entering our shores.
He made this re-assurance following reports that some people at Western Province border and Choiseul Province are worried after hearing about the confirmation of a Covid-19 case at Bougainville in Papua New Guinea (PNG) this week.
“I want to reassure good citizens of the country and especially those at the western border between the Solomon Islands and PNG border that police will continue to provide security on this side of our border,” Vaevaso said.
He said police have also increased their patrols at the western border especially at the red line zone.
“Our officers on the ground are working hard at this point in time,” Vaevaso added.
He said the joint operation between Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) and other agencies are setting up observation posts at Islands in front of our border at night time as well.
“This is a 24/7 operation,” Vaevaso further added.
Vaevaso said they are also looking at the possibility of posting some Police Response Team (PRT) tactical teams down to Supizae Island in Choiseul.
He said the government has extended the State of Public Emergency and wished to also extend the emergency zone at SI-PNG border, covering some parts of Choiseul Province and Malaita Outer Islands (MOI) as well.
“This is something the government is still working on and it is their decision to make,” he said.
Vaevaso also revealed that RSIPF has increased their budget submitted to the government from $46 million to $60.94 million.
“That is the budge submitted again to the government.
“The budget is to cover infrastructures, logistics, rations, allowances, and other expenses to enable RSIPF to provide viable security at our border.
“Not only on this SI-PNG border but at all our borders in the country,” he said.
He said the budget proposal is also to cater to the increase of the number of officers at the border and if there is a need to send additional officers to the border.
He said the usual number stationed at the border was 105 including officers who are already stationed at the border.
The usual number being deployed to the border was 65 from Honiara and other provinces.
He said they are looking at 20 more officers if they want to increase the number of officers at the border.
If that happens, the total number of officers will increase to a total of 120 officers.
Police are also working closely with the Forum Fisheries Agencies (FFA).
FFA is also conducting aerial surveillance covering our Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) and borders as well.
Vaevaso thanked FFA and other development partners for supporting them in terms of keeping our borders safe.