THE Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) has welcomed the statement on the issue of discipline within the force highlighted by Governor General Sir Frank Kabui in his New Year speech.
While giving credit to the RSIPF for maintaining law and order, Sir Frank said he was also concern about lack of discipline by certain officers.
He said he had witnessed certain officers who are ill-disciplined.
“I am sorry to say that discipline in the Police Force is a problem.
“This is a cancer that eats into the heart of the Police Force.
“I have witnessed many acts of indiscipline by some police officers and I am surprised at what I have witnessed,” he said.
Meanwhile, Police Commissioner Matthew Varley said he has seen the message and thanked the governor general for his interest in the police affairs.
“Firstly we really welcome and thank him for his interest as he is our representative of the majesty and he has a strong passion for the RSIPF and always been a good supporter,” Mr Varley said.
He said Sir Frank was quite right because from time to time, he does point out issues he was disappointed about within the police force and that were his rights; and his comments are welcomed.
However, the police chief said the issue of discipline and corruption represent only a portion of the overall efforts the rest of the organisation represents.
“Our Police force is a large organisation with around 1500 officers and by and large, the majority of our officers do a good job every day and worked very hard and are very committed to this country and they are very proud of the uniform they wear.”
Mr Varley said since he took up the job, they’ve tried their best dealing with cases involving discipline within the force.
“Certainly we have worked very hard on continuing to improve the standard of discipline in the police force and certainly something that I and my senior officers are not sighing about dealing with,” he added.
He said at the moment around 30 odd officers are on suspension for various cases that have been dealt with through investigations.
“Last year 2018 alone, I dismissed 16 officers from the RSIPF and that number only represents only a small fractions of the police force but also shows that we have taken discipline very seriously.
“But I would also like to challenge people if they have evidence on serious misconduct in the police force please do report it to us, we deal with it, we investigate it and where necessary we dismiss people,” he added.
The commissioner said normally he had briefings with the Professional Standard and Intelligent investigation area every fortnight, during which he is briefed on every case and how they progress.
He added the tribunal disciplinary officers regularly send him files for review where he had to review discipline cases and impose various punishments for the officers concern.
“For that it shows that the commissioner is taking an active interest in the discipline of the police force.
“The point is we are not perfect, but we worked very hard and tried our best to address discipline.”
Mr Varley apologised for some of the issues that people see from time to time around minor infractions of discipline especially in the front line of the police force.
“What I am focused on is making sure that the police force is resistant to corruption and that the police force is an institution of integrity and that we deal with urgently those serious cases of those who breach the discipline of the RSIPF and our code of conduct,” he said.
By IAN MCDONALD