La'auli calls for action on alcohol-related violence
The leader of the Faatuatua ile Atua Samoa Ua Tasi (F.A.S.T.) party, La’auli Leauatea Schmidt, has lamented the increasing role of alcohol in cases of domestic violence, murder and car crashes.
“The Liquor Board should look into the increase [in incidents] in connection to alcohol,” said La’auli.
“There are a number of cases reported to the police and it’s connected to local [liquor].”
La’auli noted the matter had previously been raised in Parliament.
“According to Police records more than 3,000 incidents such as murder cases, domestic violence, traffic accidents all [have causal] factors [relating] to alcohol,” said La’auli.
“It’s dangerous and its poison."
Last week, Supreme Court Judge Vui Clarence Nelson said Samoa was facing a “pandemic” of alcohol abuse causing violence.
“In an effort to avoid problems regularly seen coming before us, the court has said it before, the COVID-19 pandemic is not here but the pandemic in this country is the one involving alcohol,” the Judge said while handing down sentencing remarks to a 51-year-old man who twice struck a young man in the head with a machete while drunk.
“[Alcohol] is an underlying [factor] on the majority of cases that come before us,”
In Parliament, Laauli commended the Ministry of Police and Prisons for recent drug raids which had netted significant quantities of marijuana.
Last December the Police, led by Commissioner Fuiavaili’ili Egon Keil seized 4000 marijuana plants after executing an armed raid on drug plantations deep in the mountains of Faleatiu.
Laauli also urged the police to look into concerns over the increase of methamphetamine - colloquially known as ‘ ice’ - sold around the town area.
“I am thankful the Police are netting in marijuana from certain villages, but also note there is ice [sold] around the town area,” La’auli said.
“To date I have not seen anyone that cooks ice in the country.”