Challenges of leading the force: Stories of two women

Left -PPC for Choiseul Province Cedar Nevol and Central Islands PPC Patricia Leta.

The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force is different today compared to 10 years ago, and breaking ground are two females who head their respective provinces as Provincial Police Commanders.

They are Patricia Leta and Cedar Nevol.

Superintendent Patricia Leta commands the Central Islands Police and Superintendent Cedar Nevol heads the Choiseul Province Police.

So far apart but with the same challenges and victories in their respective areas of jurisdiction.

Just ten years ago, having females as provincial police commanders was unheard of in the RSIPF ranks and structure. But these two women hold the respect of their peers and were given the tasks based on trust and confidence for their abilities.

Not long after Patricia Leta was given the command of Central Islands Police, she has put the province on the map within the Police Commissioner office, with a 40 percent drop in crime rate based on her successful implementation of the crime prevention strategy.

Commander Leta is the only PPC so far to complete the requirements to achieve this distinction.

PPC Leta says, “Since the establishment of the Crime Prevention committees, it has taken the pressure off us, as there are cases that can be dealt with at their level.”

Meanwhile Commander of Choiseul, Superintend Bea Nevol says the challenges are huge with the isolation and scattered geography of the province that she commands. However her success also highlights her strength of character.

PPC Bea Nevol says, “Policing the border with Bougainville is the biggest challenge – I have to be very careful and handle everything taking a low profile approach…the island is very long and weather is difficult but we have managed it so far.”

Police Commissioner Matthew Varley says, “These two women are great leaders and are role models for others to follow, I am very proud of their achievement.”