4 Jun 2009

Tonga's police force receives nine vehicles from Australia

10:07 am on 4 June 2009

The Australian Foreign Minister, Stephen Smith, has given Tonga's police force nine vehicles during his first stop on a tour of several Pacific nations.

The vehicles are part of the contribution made by Australia and New Zealand to the Tonga Police Development Program.

This program aims to improve community confidence and the capacity of the Tonga Police.

Mr Smith says the vehicles will have an immediate impact on the ability of the Tonga Police to perform key operational and community policing duties.

He says they will improve response times and assist in improving the management of traffic, so giving a greater sense of safety and security to the community.

Mr Smith says he is greatly encouraged by the impact the programme and says as it progresses, the provision of much needed equipment, infrastructure and technical skills will continue to improve police capacity.