Police call for cooperation in illegal weapons crackdown
Members of the public have been urged by the Police to surrender any unregistered firearms, ammunition, explosives or unlawful weapons as the nation begin its third Firearm Amnesty.
The amnesty begins on Thursday 1 October to 31 December 2020.
The amnesty period provides an opportunity to any person to hand in to any Police station firearms in their possession with no questions asked and free of prosecution. All items returned will be recorded and a receipt will be issued together with a $100 shopping voucher to use at one of the supermarkets in town.
In a statement, the Ministry of Police, Prisons and Corrections is calling on support from members of the public as they work towards a safer Samoa.
“The Ministry appeals to the village councils for your support to encourage village members to use this opportunity to surrender these firearms, ammunition, explosives or unlawful weapons to Police,” reads the statement.
It also added that another option for the public is to call Police’s Tactical Operations Section who will safely come and remove it from their communities.
However, Police also reminded that any call for service that the Ministry will attend and find items in your possession, it will not be covered under the Amnesty programme and such, you will be subject to prosecution.
The second gun amnesty was held in 2018 which collected over a 100 firearms while the first amnesty in 2015 saw more than 300 weapons turned in.
In a previous interview, the Minister of Police and Correction Services, Tialavea Tionisio Hun said that their Ministry is seeking to combat what it views as an increasing number of firearms in the country.
Tialavea also called on Police Officers to lead by example in turning in any illegal weapons because their mandate is to enforce the law and they cannot be seen doing the total opposite.
Police confiscated seven pistols and nine rifles, including .22 and .38 calibre pistols, a shotgun, a .22 rifle and two large barreled rifles at Faleula in August.
Members of the public have been urged to contact police stations in Upolu such as Faleata Outpost – 29921; Afega Outpost – 28921; Faleolo Outpost – 42685; Lalomanu Outpost – 42685; Lotofaga Outpost – 35140; Poutasi Outpost – 40716.
For those in Savaii to contact: Tuasivi Outpost – 53515/53516; Fagamalo Outpost – 54309; Asau Outpost – 58022; and Vaitoomuli Outpost – 50018.