4 Mar 2014

American Samoa community policing program to help fill gaps

10:02 pm on 4 March 2014

A community policing program being introduced in American Samoa, may also help fill the gaps in areas where the traditional village system does not exist.

The American Samoa Department of Public Safety is starting the program to help prevent and solve crimes in the territory, which will be first rolled out in Tuala-uta and Nu'uuli.

For every one police officer in American Samoa, there are 1,440 citizens

Our correspondent, Monica Miller, says there aren't enough police officers to carry out the work of policing for the entire territory.

She says the idea is that by involving community members, they will have a sense of ownership to help each other out, similar to the way traditional policing is done in the villages.

"Tuala-uta area is an area where it's not a traditional village, it's made up of individually owned land so you have a cross-section of people living in this area and they don't have the type of village structure or hierarchy that you would in the more traditional villages, and this is the area according to the police records where most of the crimes are committed."

Our American Samoa correspondent, Monica Miller.