16 Sep 2010

Amid criticism, RAMSI highlights gains

1:26 pm on 16 September 2010

The Australian-led Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands says it has made significant gains since it arrived in 2003 to help restore law and order.

This comes in response to criticisms about RAMSI's work procedures and the drawn out cases related to the ethnic tension.

In a press release, it says the Participating Police Force has worked alongside the Solomon Islands Police to build its long-term capacity to work effectively, and there has been an improvement to how investigations are carried out by the Solomons police, with more than 3,700 weapons seized so far.

The role of the police, it says, is to investigate and prepare briefs of evidence in relation to offences committed, and after this, it is a matter for the Solomon Islands judicial system and the courts.

And according to RAMSI's 2009 Performance Report, 31 tension matters had been completed against outstanding cases to 2008, and three cases were completed last year.

At that rate of progress the remaining backlog of 20 cases would not be completed until 2017.