Pacific Island Police Strengthened to Tackle Cyber Threats”

The Australian Federal Police, in collaboration with the Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police, has been coaching Pacific police on combating cybercrime via the Cyber Safety Pasifika initiative to ensure secure and proficient investigations.

Under the CSP umbrella, the AFP has extended pivotal training and educational courses through the Pacific Police Development Program – Regional (PPDP-R).

The aim is to equip Pacific police with the skills to safely and adeptly manoeuvre the digital realm. Central to this program are two foundational courses: Cyber Safety Awareness and Education Community Trainer and Cybercrime Investigations.

Through CSP’s education and awareness initiative, Pacific police affiliates are trained to provide their communities with informative sessions on safe online navigation. Rooted in the principle of “by the Pacific, for the Pacific,” the program intends to develop trainers from within the Pacific police forces to spearhead upcoming CSP courses.

The cybercrime investigation segment readies Pacific law enforcement personnel with the proficiency to discern and probe into cyber and tech-driven criminal activities.

Such training endows officers with crucial methods and approaches tailored to their distinct settings, enabling them to effectively address and counter cyber challenges.

As internet accessibility surges among Pacific communities, the risk of cybercrime has markedly risen. The AFP has demonstrated its dedication to strengthening cyber defences throughout the Pacific, evident in its rollout of CSP in numerous countries, even amidst the hurdles brought about by the COVID-19 crisis.

To ensure top-notch delivery, the AFP has joined hands with renowned entities like the Australian Cyber Security Centre, the Asia-Pacific Network Information Centre, and law enforcement bodies, including the FBI, Meta, and New Zealand Police, bringing in field specialists.

Reflecting on the gravity of the initiative, AFP Detective Superintendent PPDP-R, Kathryn Polkinghorne, underscored the critical nature of elevating community vigilance and refining the capabilities of police officers in battling cyber threats. She emphasized that with the expansion of internet connectivity in the Pacific, the imperative of online safety becomes even more pressing for law enforcement and the broader community alike.

Recently, the AFP has successfully rolled out the CSP initiative in both Nauru and Samoa. In Nauru, the program saw participation from over 50 police officials, with delegates from multiple government sectors. The collaboration between Nauru and Australia via the Nauru-Australia Policing Partnership (NAPP) was instrumental in ensuring the initiative’s triumph. The training was met with enthusiasm in Samoa, involving members of the Samoa Police, Prisons, and Corrections Services.

Samoa Police’s Acting Commissioner, Leiataua Samuelu Afamasaga, praised the training, crediting it for arming Pacific law enforcement with the aptitude and understanding to effectively tackle the shifting cyber threat domain.

He remarked that the training honed officers’ analytical and problem-solving prowess, offering tangible tools for cybercrime intervention.

With the Pacific realm progressively integrating digital channels, endeavours like the CSP emerge as symbols of unity and enlightenment, guaranteeing that community and law enforcement can traverse the digital domain with assurance and security.



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