27 Jul 2017

Sixteen criminal investigations underway into Tongan Police

10:10 pm on 27 July 2017

Nine officers have been suspended from the Tonga police force but more could follow with 16 criminal investigations underway.

Of the nine, six officers were suspended in relation to criminal matters and three for disciplinary concerns.

There are 38 disciplinary investigations underway along with the 16 criminal ones.

There have been a total of twelve police officers sacked over the past five years for misconduct related issues.

Over the same period there have also been five officers convicted in the Supreme Court for criminal offences.

Tonga police commissioner, Stephen Caldwell

Tonga police commissioner, Stephen Caldwell Photo: SUPPLED

Police commissioner Stephen Caldwell initiated the latest investigations and said every officer was accountable to the law.

Mr Caldwell said he had set standards and expected them to be met.

He said the public also rightly expected the highest levels of professionalism and ethical behaviour, so there was zero tolerance

for unlawful acts and ill-discipline.

The Tonga Police Professional Standards Unit are responsible for conducting the investigations and four more staff were recently added to the unit to ease the workload.