31 Aug 2016

Tonga Police make inroads on alcohol-related crime

8:19 pm on 31 August 2016

The police in Tonga say a drop in arrests in its crackdown on alcohol-related crime shows the message is getting through.

The Central Police Station in Tonga's capital, Nuku'alofa.

The Central Police Station in Tonga's capital, Nuku'alofa. Photo: RNZI/Gareth Thomas

They say Operation Safe Streets has resulted in 418 arrests since it began five weeks ago for offences including being drunk in a public place and drink driving.

Acting Deputy Commissioner Atunaisa Taumoepeau said 41 arrests were made last weekend compared to 137 arrests in the first week of the operation.

He said the statistics showed Operation Safe Streets was working

"You see its one of the strategies that we put a lot of police officers on the road," he explained, "also in places where liquor licences we have to exercise our power there."

"Then police come out on Friday nights in big numbers."

Atunaisa Taumoepeau said the operation was sparked by a number of deaths on the road and they may focus on traffic-related offences in the next few months.