Operation Shakem Han

Operation Shakem Han


In response to the April 2006 riots and arson in Honiara, which saw serious damage to the business centre and Chinatown in the capital, RAMSI officials created a ‘Shakem Han’ team (pijin for Shaking Hands), to improve the image of the Participating Police Force and the military’s Combined Task Force.

Government sources:

Community interaction builds trust in the Solomons, AFP Platypus Magazine, edition 93, December 2006, p22

“In April this year [2006] the PPF Execuctive identified the need to expand and co-ordinate the successful work of the community policing roles that had been in existence since RAMSI’s arrival. The PPF were supported by the Special Co-ordinator’s Office and the community outreach program Shakem Han was implemented…

“At the time, many of the locals were sceptical of the PPF’s involvement in the domestic police force and had doubts whether they would stay to continue rebuilding the country after the years of ethnic tension. The Shakem Han team has assured the locals that they will be assisting for as long as it takes…

“The inclusion of PPF officers from other Pacific Island nations was important to the success of Shakem Han, because Solomon Islanders identified with these officers and it alleviated the perception that it was only Australian and New Zealand police serving with the PPF.”

‘Shakem Han’ (Shaking Hands) team, Participating Police Force, RAMSI website

“….the ‘Shakem Han’ (Shaking Hands) team created after the April 2006 riots in Honiara aims to present the human face of the Participating Police Force and the Combined Task Force (military).

“[Niue police officer] Tony’s outgoing and ebullient personality is well suited to this communications role in Shakem Han, part of which is the new zone foot patrolling program.

“ ‘The program has only just started but it is all about a police presence in the community, patrolling defined zones with the Solomon Islands Police Force and knowing the people in that zone, what they do, who operates the businesses.  We want them to know their Solomon Islands Police Force officers and build a trust and rapport with them so that it will make it easier for the Solomon Islands Police Force to help them. So far, the reaction is very positive,’ Tony said.”