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Youths urged to seek guidance as crime rate rises

With Easter around the corner starting with Palm Sunday to mark the beginning of the Holy Week, youth have been urged to seek guidance through prayer as the crime rates in Samoa continue to increase. 

This is the message from the National Council of Churches (NCC) Secretary, Rev. Mauga Motu, who is calling out young people to seek God’s guidance. 

“The Easter season is a very important time to prepare ourselves mentally and meditate especially for our young people or the youths for their future,” said Rev. Motu. 

“My message to youths is to submit to God and stay true to that relationship. We are trying to keep our youths in line and connect with God and seek his guidance through prayer. 

“I urge youths to not take lightly our Saviour’s life that he has sacrificed for us and the same goes to everyone during this season.”

Considering the rise in the crime rate, Rev. Motu stressed the importance of the power of prayer and reminded youth to keep their faith and seek God’s guidance by praying often. 

“Find a space or place that you find peace and just kneel and ask God for help,” he said. 

“We are not angels but there are times of trial and when you feel that weight on your shoulders go before God. 

“During this time where there are a lot of trials in our lives no matter what problems we find refuge in prayer and he will answer our prayers if we keep going before him for help especially our youths.” 

The N.C.C. Secretary added that as youths find themselves in trouble, the Easter season is a good reminder for them to reconnect with God. 

According to the Ministry of Police Annual Report 2016 – 2017, for the period there has been a increase in criminal offences reported. 

The figures show for overall incidents reported for 2016/2017 a staggering 9721 criminal offences. 

Compared to the previous years, 2015/2016 that number halve with a recorded 4811. In 2014/2015 criminal offences was 4035. 

“Overall for this reporting period – increase in criminal offences reported, increase in number of traffic offences reported and decrease in police assistance provided,” stated the Annual Report.    

The report did not indicate the age group involved in the criminal offences. 

However, a breakdown of the criminal offence figure shows that traffic offence and crimes against right of property has the most recorded data. 

Crimes against right of property include; burglary, intentional damages and theft-related offences. 

For theft-related offences, Police recorded 1,240 incidents for the year 2014/2015. 

That number dropped in 2015/2016 to 895 and escalated again in 2016/2017 recording 1,171. 

Traffic offence was fairly low in 2014/2015 with a 978 recorded, and it rapidly increased to 1,145 for following year and dropped again in in 2016/2017 to 685 traffic incidents.  

As for sexual-related crimes, the total number has drastically dropped from 137 in 2015/2016 to 43 cases in 2016/2017. The recorded crime statistics represents only those matters reported to Police. 

According to the Annual Report for 2016/2017, Samoa Police Service focused on reducing rates of crime particularly violent crime.  

“Enhanced frontline policing and effective targeting of crime hot spots and repeat offenders contributed significantly to positive trends in the status of crime in Samoa from FY 2014/2015 to FY 2016/2017,”stated the report.

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