Police festive season crackdown begins

By Adel Fruean 20 December 2021, 7:52PM

The Samoa Police Service (S.P.S.) has begun its regular festive season operation, with a focus on road safety and clamping down on drink driving, the Acting Commissioner told the Samoa Observer. 

Acting Police and Prisons Commissioner, Papalii Monalisa Tiai-Keti, said this year's festive crackdown was slated to start Monday and conclude in January.

Police are urging members of the public not to drive under the influence of alcohol, especially over the holiday period.

“Normally we start every police operation with a thanksgiving service,” she said.

The Acting Police and Prisons Commissioner said the police operations will cover New Year's Day celebrations as well as a reminder for all drivers to think twice about getting behind the wheel should they have had a drink.

“The emphasis this year is around road safety," she said.

“All throughout this year we have seen the growing numbers of members of the public drinking and driving.”

She said the message about the importance of keeping the roads safe was one that Police wished to reflect during their Christmas message.

“It is to ensure that if you are drinking then please do not drive, innocent lives are affected by drivers who don’t take the messages that we give out seriously," she said.

“Police officers do not take days off during the festive season, so we will be working right throughout.

“We know our Samoan communities will be enjoying the festive season so we will be out there looking out for the roads and also responding to calls.”

Papalii also revealed that typically during the festive season that Police receive a spike in phone calls relating to familial disagreements.

“There are going to be a lot of roadblocks because we want to ensure everyone is safe on the roads so there is going to be a lot of police visibility," she said.

“They will be doing patrols around Upolu and Savaii just to make sure they are able to respond efficiently to the calls.

“From the Ministry of Police, Prisons and Correction Services we would like to wish Samoa a very safe Christmas and a blessed 2022.

“We look forward to working with Samoa next year.”

A total of six deaths were recorded and more than 100 people were arrested during the Police’s festive season operations from the 2020 Christmas towards 2021 New Year.

The Police’s Festive Season Operation ran from 23 December last year through to 3 January, 2021 with Police making a total 128 arrests over that period.

By Adel Fruean 20 December 2021, 7:52PM

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