20 Apr 2017

Support in Tonga for tough police stance on booze

8:41 am on 20 April 2017

A commentator on Tongan affairs is giving strong backing to an Easter Weekend police blitz in the capital, Nuku'alofa, that led to dozens of arrests.

Radio Tonga reports 176 people were arrested in total in the week leading up to and including Easter.

The arrests were mostly for drunk driving and drinking in public.

It followed a similar campaign over the Christmas period in which 159 arrests were made.

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

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

Publisher Kalafi Moala praised police for taking the action they have.

He said there had been a surge in alcohol abuse, drunk driving and fatalities and which triggered the first campaign at Christmas.

"Last weekend has been the next major holidays and the authorities were concerned that the same thing would happen," Mr Moala said.

"So I think essentially you are looking at this country, there are realities that are happening.

"One, there is the continuous abuse of alcohol, related to drunk driving, a lot of accidents that take place and of course deaths," he said.

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