22 Jun 2017

Cooks MPs suggest improved conditions for police

6:52 am on 22 June 2017

A Cook Islands parliamentary committee has called for a number of changes to be made to the country's police force.

no caption

Photo: RNZI/ Mary Baines

It follows concerns at a theft by an officer, poor staff retention and criticism of low wages.

The Public Accounts Committee recommended improvements to police training, a higher budget allocation and increases in the base salary of officers.

In 2013 detective Davinia Webb was convicted of theft as a servant after stealing money from a crime scene.

Webb was a constable at the time and the Committee considered that low pay may have prompted the theft.

Last month it was revealed the Cook Islands police force lost 20 percent of its manpower over the previous six months.

The committee acknowledged low salaries for junior officers had led to high staff turnover, poor judgement and criminal behaviour.