Nine Tongan Police Officers Suspended For Criminal And Disciplinary Matters

Police commissioner: further directed 16 criminal investigations currently being carried out against police officers, by the Tonga Police Professional Standards Unit 

NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, July 27, 2017) – Nine male police officers have been suspended from Tonga Police for criminal and disciplinary matters. Another 16 criminal investigations are currently underway against other police officers.

Of the nine, eight were suspended in the past year. Six were for criminal matters and three for disciplinary matters, including six senior constables, two probation constables and one senior officer.

Police Commissioner Stephen Caldwell said he had set standards and expected them to be met as the public rightly expects the highest level of professionalism and ethical behaviour from police.

"There is absolutely zero tolerance for unlawful and ill disciplined behaviour. Every police officer is accountable to the law, not above it."

Criminal investigations

The Commissioner has further directed 16 criminal investigations currently being carried out against police officers, by the Tonga Police Professional Standards Unit (PSU).

There are also 38 disciplinary investigations underway.

PSU is responsible for conducting investigations into police officers, led by a Chief Inspector and nine staff. Four more investigators are also set to join.

He said they have seen a significant reduction of crime and the road toll from good work by good police officers working with the community.

“I will not tolerate having their reputation sullied by the actions of a few.”

He said that the Minister of Police Hon Mateni Tapueluelu was highly supportive of the tough stance taken by the Commissioner, and told a recent Police Recruit graduation ceremony that their integrity was not for sale.

As part of police public awareness campaigns, PSU has presented Police Station Open Days, to develop further understand of their role and how to lodge complaints against police.

Under the Tonga Police Act 2010, the Police Board, through recommendations from the Police Executive Committee, has terminated the employment of 12 police officers in the past five-years in relation to serious misconduct or loss of confidence in their performance.

There have also been five police officers convicted in the Supreme Court for serious criminal offences, in the past five-years.

Matangi Tonga Magazine
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