As another year draws to a close, now is the time to stop and reflect on the wide range of PICP achievements in 2018. The PICP continues to challenge itself in an ever evolving region. Issues such as transnational crime and domestic violence continue to threaten the safety of our Pacific communities. This has pushed us as a regional body to openly discuss these issues, and find new solutions.Some of the highlights of 2018 are……
Commissioner Caleb and his team at the Nauru Police Force hosted an exceptional conference in August. The theme, ‘Security Challenges in an Online Pacific’, is seen to be increasingly important and relevant throughout the Pacific, especially as there has been a significant increase in internet capability and accessibility in recent years.The presentations and discussion highlighted the concerns, issues and progress being made throughout the Pacific in the areas of cyber security and cyber-enabled crime, however there is more to do.The Conference saw endorsement of a decision to introduce a PICP Deputy Chair role. The Deputy Chair will be the host of the next conference and will assume the role of Chair at the beginning of their conference. This addition will enable the Chair and PICP Secretariat to be better supported, whilst also enabling new Police Chiefs to have exposure to the PICP Executive Leadership Team (ELT) and PICP business a year ahead of assuming the Chair role.On behalf of you all we would like to thank Chief Cruz for his unwavering commitment and exceptional leadership while in the PICP Chair role. He has continued to move our vaka forward and guided us through often treacherous waters. At the same time we would like welcome Commissioner Caleb to the PICP Chair role and Commissioner Thompson into the PICP Deputy Chair role. We look forward to working closely with them to continue our journey.
The month following the Conference the Pacific Forum Leaders also met in Nauru. A significant outcome of this meeting was the signing of the Boe Declaration, a new regional security declaration that provides a wider definition of security. This new declaration provides the PICP great opportunities in 2019 and beyond as it reinforces a commitment by Leaders to work together more effectively at a regional level.
Women’s Advisory Network (WAN) & Other Programmes
The Womens’ Advisory Network has had another productive year including holding their annual conference in July in Samoa with the theme of ‘Press for Progress’ . This conference was open to all WAN members. In addition to being exposed to a range of inspirational speakers, the women received toastmasters training, giving them all more confidence to stand up and speak in front of others. This is all the more important given Commissioner Varley’s challenge to them that “having a seat at the table is not the same as being heard”.WAN Exchanges continue to provide development opportunities for female police officers with a particular emphasis this last year on short term exchanges to the Pacific Transnational Crime Coordination Centre (PTCCC) in Samoa.The remainder of the PICP mandated programmes continue to make progress in addressing gaps across the range of policing challenges we face. The formal introduction of the Road Safe Pacific programme will provide an opportunity for the PICP to ensure our communities not only remain safe in their homes and online, but on the roads where too many are still dying or being seriously injured.
Declaration of Partnership
At the Nauru conference the final signature was added to the Declaration of Partnership between PICP, the Oceania Customs Organisation (OCO) and the Pacific Immigration Development Community (PIDC). There is a growing recognition that combating transnational crime cannot be achieved by police alone. Our partners bring new tools and legislation to the table. The Declaration provides a commitment that the three regional bodies charged with addressing transnational crime will find new ways to work together strategically, operationally and in capacity development.
Bring on 2019
Next year is shaping up to be a very busy but exciting year for the PICP. Most importantly we will be developing a new PICP Startegic Plan to be launched in early 2020. This will give us the opportunity to refelect on what we have achieved against our current plan and think ahead to the challenges we will face in the next 5 years.Alongside this, work has begun on designing the Pacific Centre for Law Enforcement Cooperation (PCLEC) concept. PCLEC will give us a mechanism to better coordinate the delivery of the Strategic Plan whilst leveraging existing capabilities that have been developed in the Pacific over the years. It will also mean the PICP Secretariat will have to look at what it does and how it can be part of the concept providing better coordination, matching needs to capabilities.The Secretariat has seen significant change in 2018 with the retirement of Waata Shepherd and departure of Riki Croft and Kevin Kneebone. We have been fortunate however in good people willing to step into Secretariat roles. Glyn Rowland’s arrival has brought a new level of passion and energy to the office. Sara Hames and Georgie Fulford helped us out throughout the year filling the gap left by Riki. In early 2019 the last of the changes will be finalised with Jonny Lancashire leaving us after 4 years, being replaced by Dave MacGregor, and Jill Blyth joining us permanently to fill the Performance, Policy and Planning Advisor role.
Finally, the PICP Secretariat would like to thank you all for your contributions and the support given to the PICP and Secretariat throughout 2018. We wish all the love and joy of the holiday season to you and your families.Stay safe, be happy, relax and enjoy.Carl, Glyn, Jonny and Kim