8 Jan 2009

Tonga police canvasses public's view of force

4:05 pm on 8 January 2009

Police in Tonga have begun engaging with the public to get personal views on the force.

Information gathered over the next four to eight weeks is expected to help in the planned restructure of the force over the next four years.

Apart from Nuku'alofa, consultations will also be held in towns and villages throughout Tongatapu and the outer islands .

The Police Commander, Chris Kelly, says the aim is to connect with communities and restore public confidence.

"Well confidence and trust in the police is so very very important. I mean we're going out into the communities to listen to what's said. We want people to be honest and if necessary for people to be brutally honest with us. And that way we'll know what their expectations are - not only what their perceptions are but what their expectations are."

Since the public meetings began on Monday, Chris Kelly says people have had both positive and negative things to say about the police force.