Top Cop issues Festive season caution
Police Commissioner, Fuiavailiili Egon Keil, has urged members of the public, especially motorists, to take extra with Christmas and New Year's around the corner.
Speaking to the Samoa Observer, Police Commissioner Fuiavailiili reminded that drunk driving is illegal in Samoa.
“If you drink please be responsible," he said. "Don’t drive, get a driver, get a taxi or have someone pick you up or drop you off."
Fuiavailiili added that the Police are ready to do their port and they will be working through the Christmas and New Year holidays to ensure a safer Samoa.
“You always have to look ahead despite dealing with present issues," he said.
“The festive season is something we do every year so we already got that planned out."
The Commissioner said motorists can expect an increased Police presence on the road with road blocks, extra patrol and general security.
He also stated that despite being focused on the festive season they are still proactive with the state of emergency.
“We have so many people attached to this to make sure it goes smoothly.
“I know we will come out of this but it is how we perform during these critical times that we want to make sure we cover everything.
“It is just a matter of squeezing in names of the people who will be working those shifts.”
He said that they have a staff of almost 600 police officers.
“For the most part, all of them will be working except for those who are sick, on a mission or already especially assigned to special assignments that we do not have control of.
“All vacations for Police officers have been ceased except for certain circumstances such as funerals.
He added that because crime never stops in Samoa it also means that the work done by police do not cease as well.
“We are just an arm of Government to make sure that these things are enforced.
The Police have recorded a total of 873 incidents over the 2018 Christmas and New Year 2019 period which include one murder and two manslaughter cases.
There was a big spike in incidences of driving under the influence of alcohol compared to last year with the Police recording 46 arrests, which represented an increase of 119 per cent compared to last year.
There was also an increase in careless driving cases with the Police recording 29 arrests which was an increase of 61 per cent.
For the offence of intentional damage, the Police recorded 15 incidents which is a 200 per cent increase compared to last year.
The number of arrests for this year amounted to 141 for traffic and criminal incidents, which is an increase of 34 per cent from the previous year.