2 Jun 2004

Solomon Islanders being trained for security duties

10:34 am on 2 June 2004

The Australian Protective Service, which is a specialist part of the policing element in the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands, is preparing to set up a Protection Unit staffed by Solomon Islanders.

Since RAMSI arrived in Solomon Islands, the APS has been providing a security presence at the international airport in Honiara but it is now training 11 Solomon Islanders to take over the work.

Inspector Andrew Bicker says their key job will be to ensure the airport remains open for international travel by complying with International Civil Aviation Organisation standards.

"Most of the work is responding to aviation-related incidents. They ensure that the travelling public is safe, that all regulations are met, the screening that happens at the airport of people when the y depart for overseas and domestically. The failsafes are in place and the idea is to get this unit up and running."

Inspector Bicker says the Protection Unit will also provide protection for VIPs and guard key government installations.