3 Oct 2011

UN official praises police reform in Tonga

4:09 pm on 3 October 2011

The Pacific representative of the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights has praised the police reforms undertaken in Tonga and says they could be applied in other parts of the region.

Matilda Bogner says the reforms in Tonga are slowly improving police accountability and performance as well as looking to rebuild trust with the public.

She says the most fundamental reform is the clearer separation of powers between the commissioner and the minister, with the commissioner now in-charge of the day-to-day functioning of the police force.

Other changes include merit based promotion.

Ms Bogner says the police service is now seen as a service for the public, underlining an emphasis on public accountability.

She says taking the path of accountability and transparency increases public confidence in the police and ultimately in respect for the rule of law.