21 Aug 2012

Cooks top cop challenged over crimes within force

2:59 pm on 21 August 2012

A former Cook Islands police officer who is now an MP, Mona Ioane, wants immediate efforts to restore the credibility of the police force after several former staff were convicted on criminal charges.

These incidents include drug offences, theft from a crime scene and most recently the theft of thousands of dollars and black pearls from a police headquarters safe.

Mr Ioane, who served in the force for 22 years, says there are training issues but he lays much of the blame at the feet of the commissioner, Ma'ara Tetava.

He says Mr Tetava should be replaced.

"If we can fix that problem I guarantee down the ranks they will perform. And the other issue on which I would like to comment - in the last three years a deputy commissioner has never been appointed and a chief inspector has never been appointed. These are two senior positions, very senior positions. I just don't understand why the deputy commissioner and chief inspector haven't been filled in."

Cook Islands MP, Mona Ioane.