President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih stated on Saturday that a strong relationship of mutual trust between the police and the community they serve is critical to maintaining public safety and effective policing, and he reiterated that the administration’s policy is to promote and enhance community-based policing. The President made the statement while speaking at the inauguration of the Police Research and Innovation 2023 conference.

The Ministry of Home Affairs, the Maldives Police Service, and the Police Board organised the three-day conference. Speaking at the inaugural session in Dharubaaruge, President Solih spoke about the enhancements made to policing with the new Maldives Police Service Act enacted in 2021. He stated that the holistic enforcement of the law relies on the relationship and cooperation between the police and the community.

President Solih also spoke about the administration’s efforts to modernise and promote community-based policing and highlighted some of the achievements of the past five years. He noted that frontline police officers were now using body-worn cameras and added that they would begin using tasers this year.

The President stressed that the National College of Policing and Law Enforcement established in Addu City played an essential role in developing the police service and described its establishment as a step forward in building educated and trained law enforcement officers.

Speaking about the conference, President Solih noted that it was the first of its kind organised in the history of policing in the Maldives. He added that the conference targeted the modernisation of policing and spoke about the importance of dialogue and experience backed by academic research to ensure a fruitful outcome. He also extended his appreciation to the organisers of the conference.

The conference would see the presentation of 10 academic papers on various topics related to modernising and enhancing policing. Reforming and modernising the police is a pledge of this administration.