Yesterday morning, the Samoa Police Service officially opened a new Records and Exhibits Office.
The project was funded by the Australian Aid through the Samoa Australian Police Partnership (S.A.P.P.) and cost close to $800,000.
Prime Minister and Minister of Police, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said in his speech that the office will lock up all those items that have been seized until the day court cases are heard.
This is to ensure the items are still there, he said wryly.
“It seems that in the past, many items had legs and they just walked away and when that happened, no one was to blame, except for the police,” he said.
“So the police have been helping themselves to these items. But now that we have this office with locks and cameras, we won’t be having that problem and we won’t lose a case simply because a stupid police officer has removed the items that are necessary for court cases.
“I have been informed that the S.A.P.P. has now delivered three of the projects to support the infrastructure and the investigative capacity of the Samoa Police Service.
“These include the renovation of the Criminal Investigating Division (C.I.D.) and the Domestic Violence Unit (D.V.U.) as the second part.”
He said the new office, is a safe place for all police records.
“With this new office the safe storage of all police exhibits will allow for successful prosecution of police cases before the court,” he said.
“This facility now allows sufficient and appropriate storage of exhibits and files as well as a front office capacity for dealing with the general public.
“The simple storage location will improve exhibit handling procedures.
“There is now capacity that will accurately record exhibits and seizures related to police investigations.
“Overall the S.A.P.P. spent approximately spent $800,000 to set up this office.”
Furthermore S.A.P.P. provided more assets to the Samoa Police Service which included four vehicles and computer screens and keyboards which cost almost 1million tala.
“Again I want to thank the Australian Government for the ongoing support to the people of Samoa and also to the Samoa Police Service,” said Tuilaepa.
“As a Minister of Police, I recognize that we need to raise the standards of our policing service to protect the lives and properties of members of our community.”