Crime, lies continue through crisis shutdown

Eight people were arrested on Thursday for committing crimes despite the Government imposed shutdown of Samoa's businesses and Government for the mass vaccination programme. 

Some of them had lied to the Police about their activities.

During an interview with the Samoa Observer, Police Commissioner, Fuiavaili’ili Egon Keil, said some people had flagrantly flouted bans on commercial activity or driving. 

“We did discover some stores that were opened which we had to shut down," he said.

“Some people lied saying they were going to the hospital or airport. We could have arrested them but we gave them warnings and documented their information so if it does happen again then we have no choice but to go to the full extent of the law.”

But only two cases were connected to the shutdown, Fuiavaili’ili said, noting that most people were apprehended for usual criminal activity. 

“Other cases include some people who were arrested in trying to break into someone’s home during the day and carrying knives and covering their faces but there were children in the home," he said. 

He added that on Thursday police focused not only on the shutdown but also their regular obligations to keep the peace and enforce order. 

“We have two things going on; we have police officers assigned to this operation [Government shutdown] we also have regular duties because crimes never stop which means our jobs never stop," he said. 

“We have to make sure that we have a good balance to manage this operation [Govt. shutdown and daily police duties.

“There are still people on the road with the exceptions to this order such as those that seek medical treatment, going to the airport.”

He also said that some people who were not arrested but given warnings instead.

“We are busy trying to protect our volunteers during this measles injection stuff which is why we have to be proactive and hopefully avoid these things from happening," he said, 

“We are just an arm of Government to make sure that laws are enforced.

“If we resorted to locking everyone up, it’s not good and we don’t have the room for it.”



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