11 Jul 2006

Awareness programmes in Samoa said to have helped reporting of sex crimes

1:36 pm on 11 July 2006

Awareness and education programmes are being credited with an increase in the reporting rate of sexual crimes in Samoa.

Assistant police commissioner and spokesman, Papali'i Li'o, says they now get reports every week, mostly involving girls between 12 and 16 years.

Before this, Papali'i Li'o says reports might have come in once a month.

He says one of the most significant impact of the awareness programmes has been education about the law concerning under age sex:

"That's the most important issue that we raise in our awareness programmes. Not only getting the community to be aware of and also to educate the people not only having the young girls being involved, but also we do educate the people with the laws the penalties and so forth."

Papali'i Li'o says information has been dispersed throughout Samoa using sessions on radio and television and through programmes at village level involving local mayors and the churches