Police Commissioners Crime Round-Up May 8th to May 15th 2004
The following incidents have been highlighted been in the most recent Commissioner of Police's press release.
The Police are very concerned about an incident that occurred at Tualele on 11 May 2004 where an unknown male allegedly indecently assaulted a young 7-year-old boy. Police are calling for public assistance from anyone who may have been in the vicinity of the Vailoa Faleata Primary School at around 2 pm who may have sighted a male of slim build, fair complexion, tinted brown hair and wearing a pair of white shorts and green T-shirt. Anyone with any information that could lead to the apprehension of the offender please contact the Police station and ask for Sergeant Galu Frost.
Police are also investigating another incident of indecent assault on a young girl in Saipipi. The alleged offender is known to the victim.
Police are awaiting the results of the inquest into the death of a 52-year-old male of Safaatoa, Lefaga who collapsed in his shop on 11 May 2004.
Theft as a Servant
Police have arrested and charged a man in connection with theft as a servant whilst he was employed as a deliveryman at Ah Liki Wholesale.
Police have also arrested a woman from Tanugamanono who allegedly stole $22,969.00 form CCK Ltd, Vaigaga.
Burglary and Theft
Police are seeking information from the public concerning a break-in at the Pulenuu office, Matagialalua Apia on the evening of 12 May 2004. Three men allegedly aged between 20-30 removed goods from the office and later sold these goods at the Auto Supercentre petrol station, Matautu. The suspects were later dropped off by a taxi at the Tufuiopa cemetery after 2am. Any person with information that could lead to the apprehension of these offenders are asked to call the Police Station and ask for Constable Musu Talai.
Other cases of burglary and theft include:
15 May 2004, a person stole $300 cash from a house in Vailele
11 May 2004, $400 cash was removed from a bag in Matautu uta.
16 May 2004, a cell phone and car stereo was removed from a van in Faleolo.
Only four traffic accidents were reported to the Police. No injuries were sustained.
A 24-year-old man has been arrested in relation to the burning of a house in Mulifanua on 11 May.
A policeman has been charged with false pretense following a number of complaints from the public that the officer had allegedly been seeking financial favors in exchange for goods that he did not have. He is due to appear before the court on 21 May 2004 for mention.
The Commissioner emphasizes that all officers have a sworn legal, professional and moral obligation to uphold the law. No officer is above the law and any contravention of the law will be dealt with severely.
Commissioner of Police comments on reports of rising crime
The Commissioner also notes that lately, there has been some speculation and concern regarding a perceived rise in the crime rate in the newspaper editorial.
Naturally, the Commissioner and the Samoa Police Service are disturbed over any suggestion of an apparent increase in crime and the Commissioner is appreciative of the role of the media in bringing facts to the notice of the community, in particular when trends are indicative of an upward spiral of a particular type, volume, of nature of a crime(s).
In relation to this the Commissioner makes the following statement:
"The relationship between knowledge and fear has always been a difficult issue for those in law enforcement. Reports concerning the occurrence of crime have been shown to have a direct relationship to community perceptions of the chances of becoming a victim of crime, and that can result in feelings of being less safe in our community. At the same time it is important to ensure the community know and understand the facts so they can assist the police prevent crime, apprehend those who commit crime and take necessary precautious against becoming a victim of crime. It is therefore very important for the community to have an appreciation of the issues.
I would like to make two points. Firstly, we need to understand that as the community gains greater respect and confidence in its police service this will likely increase the number of crimes that formally become known or reported. As my policy is to ensure the public is well informed, comments concerning rising crime is not altogether unexpected as people become more informed and the issues are debated.
To keep things in perspective it should be noted that the offenders for the recent robbery referred to in the newspaper article were apprehended within twenty-four hours of this incident. It is important to consider this in conjunction with the report of the occurrence of the crime because the clear message is 'if you do the crime you have better be prepared to do the time' because you will get caught.
Partners in Pacific Peace Exhibition
The Ministry of Police Prison and Fire Services in conjunction with Australian High Commission will be holding a photographic exhibition of Samoa and Australia’s work in promoting peace in Solomon Islands (RAMSI) and East Timor on Thursday 28 May at the Fire Service Fire Station. The exhibition will be open for public viewing all day.
The Commissioner of Police Prison and Fire Services returned from the Military Operations and Law 2004 Conference, Canada last week. The Commissioner reported that the conference provided the opportunity to discuss international trends in security operations and the interface with law and legal issues.
Added: 25th May 2004