9 Oct 2002

Pacific police conference told to focus on domestic problems

12:17 pm on 9 October 2002

The Cook Islands deputy prime minister has told police chiefs from around the Pacific that they should never lose focus of their own countries and not worry about international terrorism and other organised crime.

Sir Geoffrey Henry made the comment in his address to a regional police chief conference in Rarotonga.

He says offences by organised criminals are as common as coconut trees in London's Trafalgar Square.

And Sir Geoffrey says Pacific Islanders cannot stop terrorism no matter how professional or dedicated they are.

He says terrorism has been around since biblical times and was caused by poverty, hunger and a low standard of life.

The Cook Islands is still on a blacklist of countries suspected of being used by money-launderers who could fund terrorism.