5 Sep 2012

New Tonga police appointments critical to force's successful reform

10:11 am on 5 September 2012

Tonga's new Police Commissioner says the appointment of two deputies will make it possible to change the way officers conduct themselves.

Grant O'Fee's comment follows the death of a New Zealand police officer while in the custody of police in Tonga's capital, Nuku'alofa.

Unga Fa'aoa has been appointed Deputy Commissioner in charge of crime, investigations, intelligence and operations.

Le'o Soakai's appointment as Deputy Commissioner responsible for human resources, finance and resource management is the highest police rank attained by a woman.

Mr O'Fee says the two roles are critical to managing the force in a professional way that allows for essential reforms.

"And I'm talking here about some basic, fundamental changes around the way our frontline supervisors, our NCOs, conduct themselves, that they have the courage to act when things aren't done properly."

Grant O'Fee says reinstating a domestic violence programme is among numerous reforms that most police officers in Tonga desperately want implemented.