10 Jun 2010

Cook Islands police building relationship with ethnic groups

2:21 pm on 10 June 2010

The police in the Cook Islands say a new initiative to build relationships with foreigners in the country will help in solving crime and other issues.

The plan is for each ethnic group in the Cook Islands, ranging from other Pacific Islanders to Asians and Europeans, to appoint representatives who will liaise with police.

A youth officer of the community relations division, Sergeant Paraia Vainerere, says by building and strengthening ties with ethnic groups, police can be of more help.

"Maybe a part of the community might have an immigration problem where we can assist by pointing them to the immigration department. Or there's a person from a different nationality has committed a crime, where we can utilise this organisation to make the right and correct decisions."

Paraia Vainerere says three successful meetings have already been held and says police hope to form a board of ethnic group leaders to meet with them each month.