Cheap alcohol, crimes worry Police

The Deputy Police and Prisons Commissioner, Papali'i Monalisa Tiai-Keti, says the availability of cheap alcohol which are easily accessible by young people is a contributing factor to increasing crime statistics. And it worries them.

While she admitted that it was not the only contributing factor, she said the Police are concerned about the availability of cheap alcohol products and the rise in crime statistics.

"The Samoa Police Service is concerned with the availability of cheap alcohol to young people and locals,” she said.

She would not name any particular brand of alcohol.

The Deputy Police and Prisons Commissioner also revealed overall crime statistics recorded by Police.

According to the statistics, it states that investigated crimes recorded an 11 per cent increase with 2856 cases on the 01 January to 3rd of August 2019 compared to 3202 on 01 January – 3 August 2020.

A 32 per cent was also seen in cases of incidents without formal investigation that accounted for 5737 on 01 January - 3 August 2019 while 01 January – 3 August 2020 noted 7649.

The overall call for service also had a 25 per cent increase from 01 January - 3 August 2019 which saw 8,593 whereas 01 January – 3 August 2020 accounts to 10,851.

Papalii added that assault offences had the highest rate in crimes since the State of emergency was declared in March which noted as the number one of the top 10 crimes reported and investigated by police.

“Theft and burglary is noted to be in the top 10 of crimes reported and investigated by police while careless driving is the highest recorded traffic related offence.

The general crime statistics showcased a five per cent increase from 2019 which accounts to 1793 while in 2020 it had 1896.

Domestic cases increased by 17 per cent which accounted for 459 in 2019 while in 2020 had 542.

The traffic cases also had an increase by 25 per cent with 604 on 2019 but it rose to 764 in 2020.

“Weekend road blocks since opening of nightclubs targeting those driving under the influence of alcohol.”

The Deputy Police Commissioner added that statistics provide S.P.S. with the opportunity to identify how its resources are to be utilised not only to meet our policing roles and responsibilities but also enforcing State of Emergency orders.

“Furthermore, from statistics S.P.S. notes what needs to be done in order to work collaboratively with other government ministries and NGOs to find ways to mitigate the increase in crime rates. ie) radio programmes, community engagement awareness, increase patrols and visibility of police etc.”

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