Cook Islands Police Commissioner: Carrying Weapons In Public Is A 'No No'

Tetava says people suspected of carrying knives, other weapons will be immediately searched

By Richard Moore 

RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (Cook Islands News, Feb. 2, 2017) – Police are telling people on Rarotonga that carrying a weapon in public is a no-no.

And they warn they will be searching anyone they suspect of carrying a hidden knife.

Police Commissioner Maara Tetava says: “I’m surprised people are now carrying knives in public places. That’s a no-no.

“We can search someone on the spot if we suspect they have a weapon.”

And the police chief says if people resist: “We will do what we are trained to do.

“I will not tolerate anyone carrying an offensive weapon in a public place.

“We will deal with that as quickly and effectively as we can.”

Tetava admits he has been disturbed by last week’s stabbing of a security guard in a fight outside an Avarua nightclub.

“I was shocked at the stabbing … like everybody else. I think we have all been shocked and I fear we might have another one.

“I definitely don’t want any more to happen and we will do everything we can to get out there and make sure it doesn’t happen.”

The police are in the process of re-activating their Special Tactics Unit to help deal with night-time problems around clubs and bars.

Tetava says the public must help police on this matter.

“If you suspect someone has a weapon then tell us as I’d rather prevent a stabbing than deal with it afterwards.

“It could be one of your friends who is a victim.

“It is important for people to tell us and we will deal with it,” he says.

Tetava thinks violent crimes – such as last-year’s shootings and the recent stabbing – happen because people are getting exposed a lot more to what is occurring overseas.

“We see these things happen – a lone wolf shooting of people in Canada - and there’s the possibility of copycat things. That’s a worry. It’s always a worry for a commissioner of police.

“The thing for me is to try to make sure it doesn’t happen to our place and when it does that we have capability and capacity to deal with it.”

Earlier this week, Tetava said police had arrested two people, but inquiries were continuing into the incident and more arrests were expected.

The stabbing victim, who was apparently trying to stop a fight, was treated as an outpatient at Rarotonga Hospital and later discharged.

Cook Islands News
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