10 Dec 2012

Samoa police seek advice on managing village incidents

6:25 am on 10 December 2012

Police from Australia and New Zealand are helping assess the capability of Samoa police to respond effectively to public disorder in light of a series of recent violent village incidents.

The visiting police have just returned after a two-week on the ground assessment, at the request of the Samoa government, and will draft a report with recommendations.

The New Zealand High Commissioner to Samoa, Nick Hurley, says the report will scope the development of policies, training and practices relating to public order management and the use of force options.

He says the request was prompted after an incident in August when police intervened in a land-dispute protest at Satapuala Village, near Faleolo International Airport.

"In that process not only just rocks thrown, but there were some weapons that were fired so there was some concern about whether the police response was the right one and whether there were other ways to actually deal with the issue."

Nick Hurley.

Samoa's police commissioner, Lilomaiava Suemalo Fou Taioalo, says maintaining public order in situations involving large numbers of people is an essential role for all police forces.