TONGATAPU 3 constituency MP suggested neighbourhood watch is the solution to curb the increasing crimes’ rate in the kingdom especially theft and burglary.
Dr. Sitiveni Halapua told Parliament yesterday that neighbourhood watch can help make a difference.
“Such program is widely used overseas…and I just want to suggest to the Ministry of Police to consider neighbourhood watch as an additional program to Community Police in efforts to prevent crimes.”
Neighbours watch out for each other’s houses. If they suspiciously see anyone roam around or who try to break into the neigbhour’s home to steal something. They can call the police,” explained Dr. Halapua.
Tongatapu 3 MP’s statement came in respond to a report that the Ministry of Police they are working in collaboration with the community to establish police community in efforts to fight against criminal activities in the country.
This prompted after Tongatapu 8 constituency MP Sione Taione raised concern in Parliament on Monday about four consecutive theft cases reported in his electorate.
“Four houses in his constituency were broken into. Wallets and Tongan traditional goods were stolen before criminals took off in these occupants’ vehicles. To make it worse they use mobile phones when carrying out these criminal activities.
An elderly woman of Malapo pleaded to the public on 89.5 FM for any information that could help to identify those that broke into her house and stole personal belongings from her home. The lady offered TOP $1000 an award for anyone with information leading to catch the criminal,” explained Taione.
Taione also informed the House one getaway vehicle from Malapo was later found at Vaini. He also spoke that it is also a pity to know some law enforcement officers are taking part in such unacceptable behaviour which tarnish the good work of the ministry.
“ I was informed by a person who lodged a complaint with the police about his lost laptop last August and was later found to be used by a police officer…Another person told me he witnessed two cops got off the police vehicle and take the radio equipment from a getaway vehicle before informing the victim’s house,” explained Taione.
He went on to say it is a pity only a few are carrying out these criminal activities but that shows there’s corruption within the ministry.
On that note, Taione called on government for the establishment of the Anti Corruption Commissioner to look into the matter.
According to Taione, the issue worries him because criminal activities compromise the safety and freedom of the law abiding citizens.
Meanwhile the Hon. Minister of Revenue Collection, Fe’ao Vakata praised the joint effort of neighbours in his area which led to catching of a person trying to break into his neighbour’s house.
“I supported the idea of neighbours working together. There was a recent case where a person tried to break into my neighbour’s house fortunately people who were drinking kava at my house helped and caught the criminal,” explained the Minister.
Hon. Vakata also spoke of another incident where two persons dressed as church missionaries knocked on one of his neighbour’s door
“One pretended to be sharing the gospel with the occupants of the house while the other man was found lurking around peeping into the house.”