Acting Police Commissioner Mostyn Mangau has been named the country’s new Police Commissioner.
Mangau in his early 50’s from Ontong Java, Malaita Province was sworn in before His Excellency the Governor-General Sir David Vunagi during a brief ceremony held at the Government House yesterday morning.
His appointment as police chief was done by the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the prime minister after consultation with the Police and Prisons Service Commission as conferred under section 43 (2) of the SI Constitution, a statement from Police Media Unit said.
The father of eight becomes the third local to have taken the top police post.
The two other locals are, late Sir Fred Soaki (1982 – 1995) and late Morton Siriheti (1995 – 1997 and (2000 – 2002).
Mangau who has been in the force for the past 23 years was among the five applicants including two from overseas who applied for the top position.
The post became vacant after former Commissioner Matthew Varley’s term from ended last November.
Mangau has been in the acting position until his appointment yesterday.
He told Police Media Unit after the ceremony that he was very humble to take up the position.
“I feel very humbled to have been appointed to this very important position as Commissioner of the RSIPF especially as this is the first time a local Solomon Islander has been given the position after it has been held by foreign nationals for the past 19 years, Mangau said in the press statement yesterday.
Mangau said that his appointment as the police chief is an expression of the confidence the government and people have in the more than 1,500 RSIPF officers.
“We have come a long way since the dark days of the social unrest which brought not only the country but also its police force to its knees.
“With the assistance from Australia and New Zealand as well as the Pacific island countries under the banner of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI), the RSIPF has become a more professional police force striving to maintain high integrity and the confidence of the people it has been mandated to serve,” Mangau said.
Mangau further added that as the new Commissioner of ‘Polis blo iu’, he pledged to do all within his powers stipulated under the Police Act 2013.
“This is to provide a safe and secure environment for all citizens of Solomon Islands maintaining the independence of the RSIPF from any political interference.”
He also appeals to all RSIPF officers, the national and provincial governments, community leaders, women and youth and all the citizens of this country to support him as he takes on this highest leadership role in the country’s police force.
“With your support and that through the hands of our Almighty God we will continue to maintain the ‘Hapi Isles’ status that our beloved nation has become known throughout the region and the world,” he said.
Mangau acknowledged the government for the trust and confidence they had in him adding that it is going to be a challenge to lead the RSIPF during this covid-19 pandemic period.
He also assured the government that he will work the RSIPF Executive, the Ministry of Police and the government to ensure the RSIPF is delivering its mandate roles and responsibilities to protect Solomon Islands.
Mangau joined the Force in July 1996 and has various positions and posts including held several executive positions before his appointment yesterday.
• Acting Commissioner from 28 November 2019 to 22 July 2020;
• Deputy Commissioner (National Security and Operation Support) 20 September 2019;
• Assistant Commissioner (National Capital and Crime Prevention) 2016
• Assistant Commissioner (National Operations) 2017 – 2019.
• Provincial Police Commander (Guadalcanal Province) 2016 – 2017.
He was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in 2001 and in 2010 he was promoted to the rank of Inspector, Police Media stated.
In 2013, he was again promoted to the rank of Superintendent and in 2014 was promoted to the rank of Chief Superintendent and Provincial Police Commander for Honiara City.
In 2016 he was promoted to the rank of Assistant Police Commissioner and in 2019, was promoted to the rank of Deputy Police Commissioner.
Apart from these positions, Mangau had undertaken leadership training at both the Australian Institute of Police Management and the Royal New Zealand Police College and holds Certificates in Leadership Development, the statement highlighted.
“Additional Australian based training includes the Australian Federal Police Command, Control and Coordination course and Australian Government Counter-Terrorism Intelligence training in Risk Management.
“Commissioner Mangau also holds a Certificate in Security Studies obtained at the Pacific Centre for Security Studies and a Certificate in Disaster Management (Hawaii).
“He has also undertaken international training courses in Jakarta (maritime safety and security programme) and Taiwan (national security),” the Police Media Unit statement said.
A press statement from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said during Mangau’s time as Acting Deputy Commissioner of Police from April 2019 to November 2019, he was instrumental in developing the budget for critical border operations during the Bougainville Referendum.
He also oversees high visibility and security operations during the recent tensions following the severing of diplomatic ties with Taiwan and the formal recognition of the People’s Republic of China.
The press statement added that he also recognises the importance of the RSIPF promotion program for all ranks of sergeant, staff sergeant, inspector, superintendent and chief superintendent and put forward submissions for endorsements.
“With the most recent posting as an Assistant Police Commissioner for National Operations since December 2017 – 2019, he was instrumental in many major operations within this time.
“These operations included the Bougainville Operation, RAMSI drawdown, and the National General Election 2019 (NGE19).
“With all these operations, Mostyn was the Operation Commander for Gizo incursions by armed criminal elements from Bougainville and oversaw the apprehension of 29 offenders,” the press statement further added.
Mangau was also the overall Operational Commander for the 2019 National General Election and responsible for RSIPF’s planning and preparedness and delivering the largest RSIPF operation, and the most successful election to date, for the peoples of the Solomon Islands.
“Particularly with his exceptional commitment and dedication to RSIPF, he has been recognized and awarded the British Empire Medal (postnominal BEM) in the 2018 Queen’s Birthday Honours and Awards, in recognition of his continued ‘services to Police Force and to the community’,” it stated.
The PMO statement added Mangau has been recognised by his professionalism, dedication and commitment to duty within RSIPF involving several significant operations and events prior and post RAMSI.
Prime Minister Manesseh Sogavare, Minister of Police National Security and Correctional Services Anthony Veke, Permanent Secretary Karen Galokale and senior officers from RSIPF and Australian Federal Police (AFP) attended and witnessed the swearing-in ceremony.