13 Jun 2007

NGO in Samoa concerned over police sex misconduct allegations

2:28 pm on 13 June 2007

There are growing concerns in Samoa over the number of allegations of sexual assault levelled against senior police officers.

Last month, one of the three assistant commissioners was suspended after two female officers filed separate attempted rape complaints.

In a third incident, another senior officer is facing allegations of abusing a policewoman.

Next week, another policeman, Fa'apai Agafili, will appear in court charged with last year's attempted rape and assault of a woman in police custody.

The President of the NGO, Mapusaga of Aiga, lawyer Maiava Peteru, says the allegations cast a shadow over the police.

"We need to feel that we are secure and have protection from police officers."

Maiava Peteru.

The reports of sexual misconduct has led to calls from within the police department for the government to set up a commission of inquiry in the allegations.

Meanwhile, there are conflicting reports about whether the police are still investigating the attempted rape allegations against one of the assistant commissioners.