Seven (7) Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) Officers have completed a three-week forensics course at the Rove Police Headquarters last Friday.
RSIPF Honiara-based and province-based forensics officers attended the combined ‘Forensic Qualifying and Phase 1 Drug Investigation Course.’
The course covered fingerprint analysis, crime scene investigative methods, crime scene interpretation, crime scene photography, exhibit management, drug seizure and preliminary drug testing. Course sessions also involved theoretical and practical sessions and a mock court with evaluations.
The Forensic Qualifying course is aligned with the Pacific Forensic Working Group (PFWG) Crime Scene Learning Guide, a standardises forensic training across the 22 Pacific Islands Countries of the PICP. The course is an important component of the RSIPF Forensic Member Career Pathway and will assist Officers on their journey to becoming Forensic investigators.
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) partnership program with the RSIPF, RSIPF-AFP Policing Partnership Program (RAPPP), provided both financial support and technical knowledge to ensure the course ran smoothly.
RAPPP Forensics Advisor, Merrilyn Hurst, and RSIPF Forensic Training Coordinator, Sergeant Minnie Leigh, conducted the training.
Advisor Hurst said the course has equipped RSIPF Forensics Officers with knowledge and experience in crime scene examination across a variety of crime types.
She said the ability to examine a crime scene is important to RSIPF Officers as they commonly investigate burglaries, homicides and sometimes illegal drug imports.
Advisor Hurst said crime scene examination would help Forensic Officers determine whether or not crimes have been committed, how the crimes were committed and who might have committed the crime.
“Forensic experts can provide an incredible amount of value to investigations,” the Forensics Advisor said.
When officially closing the course, Assistant Commissioner for Crime and Intelligence, Patricia Leta said the course now prepared RSIPF Forensics Officers to do their work to the highest standard of forensic evidence collection and interpretation.
“Now that forensics knowledge is extended to our provinces this will greatly assist the Officers when attending to major incidents.
You have gained important knowledge in a variety of topics. You will be able to produce meaningful evidence in court when supporting RSIPF Investigators,” Assistant Commissioner Leta said.
She urged participating Officers to put into practice what they have learnt and share the knowledge they have acquired with their respective stations.
“It is always encouraging that our RAPPP counterparts offer support and upskill our officers whenever a gap is identified in the RSIPF,” Assistant Commissioner Leta added.