The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) is now connected with other police organisations around the world, sharing and exchanging information on law and enforcement following its subscription to the International Police Agency, INTERPOL.
But this will cost the RSIPF an annual subscription fee of about $140,000, according to Police Commissioner Mathew Varley.
Varley said the $140,000 is about $15,000 euro which is a standard fee for developing countries.
“It is about 0.03 percent of INTERPOL operating budget.
“It is worked out on a particular ratio and countries like Solomon Islands and other less developed countries are charged a standard rate.
“Many countries around the world such as the United States pay many millions of dollars to support INTERPOL’s work around the world.
“Just an indication, coming from Interpol annual report, the budget for INTERPOL for 2016 was 113 million euro.”
Varley added that it costs money to run a big organisation like that.
“For our contribution whilst it was a sizable contribution for Solomon Islands it is a small contribution in the overall scheme of things.
“We have budgeted for this as part of our preparation and the money is inside our police budget and has been provided by government.
“And yes it is large money for RSIPF but it is worthwhile and we are ready to do our bit,” Varley added.
“This is an important step for RSIPF and Solomon Islands because it means we are now connected to 191 other police forces and countries around the world.
“We can cooperate and exchange information on law enforcement.”
Varley said the first step they will be taking is setting up their office, National Central Bureau which will be essentially an office and a team that is going to be located at the Transnational Crime Unit inside Investigations.
He said Assistant Commissioner Ian Vaevaso has been appointed as the head of their INTERPOL Bureau as a figure head.
He will have a team under him a couple of officers inside the TCU who will be able to connect to the l INTERPOL I 24/7 data base.
“It is a great way of connecting police force.
“Not only will we have the ability to talk to or send a message to police forces around the world from here to Africa but will have access to very specialised data bases including things like wanted and missing persons, child abuse victims, stolen and missing passports, biometric fingerprints and also a list of terrorists around the world.
Varley said INTERPOL has a series of watch notices and the most famous is the Red Notice.
“Essentially it is a ‘wanted notice’ for a person wanted by the police around the world for serious crime.
“Those are the people we need to track around the world and Interpol assists with that by connecting police forces to allow for searches to be done on their data bases when a person comes to notice of police or comes across the border.
“They are also able to provide us with specialist advice and expertise on things like cyber crime, terrorism and organised crime.
“Through the network of command centres of Interpol around the world, should we have or need advice or support on international policing issue, we can access it.”
Varley said now that Solomon Islands has officially became the 192 member of INTERPOL is something we all should be proud of not only for the police but for the country as a nation.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN