23 Aug 2019

Pacific police playing catch up with tech-savvy criminals

4:36 pm on 23 August 2019

American Samoa's Attorney General has told Pacific police commissioners that a regional approach is needed to tackle transnational crimes that have become widespread in the region.

Attorney General, Talauega Eleasalo Ale

Attorney General, Talauega Eleasalo Ale Photo: RNZ Pacific / Monica Miller

Talauega Eleasalo Ale was speaking at the opening of the 48th Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police Conference in American Samoa.

The remoteness of Pacific Islands once shielded them from sophisticated criminal activities but that defence is now fading as the world becomes smaller through technology, Talauega said.

"Human trafficking, drug trafficking and other such crimes are now so prevalent in our respective countries and each of us are struggling to find ways to innovate to keep up with the criminals who seem to be one step ahead of everything we do," he said.

Nineteen countries and territories were represented at the conference.