Samoa Country Update

 

Karen Smith

Karen Smith

 

The past year has provided many opportunities for the Vaega O Sauaga I Totonu O Aiga, or Samoan Domestic Violence Team, with the most significant being the opening of their office on 4 July 2008.

There is a lot of pride in the office, which marks the start of a new and improved service that the Samoan Police are now able to offer to those in the community who suffer from Domestic Violence.

Honoured guests included the Police Minister and his deputy; Her Excellency, The NZ High Commissioner; Reverend Utufua Naseri,the Acting Commissioner of the Ministry of Police and Prison Services; the PPDVP Programme Manager and Regional Manager; and the Wellington District Commander, Superintendent Pieri Munro.

The opening was further highlighted by the provision of a brand new Hyundai vehicle, specifically for the use of the team. Obtaining the vehicle was facilitated by the New Zealand Government and the Pacific Prevention of Domestic Violence Programme. It will have an immediate impact on the safety of victims, as it enables the team to respond immediately to reported incidences of domestic violence, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

In June, Constables Misipele and Vaalele represented Samoa at the Investigative Training Workshop in Tonga and since that date, the team have delivered a day’s training to each shift of General Policing.

Finally, it would not be fair to end this report without mentioning two extremely dedicated and hardworking members; Constables Vaalele and Usufono, who continue to stand out by the contributions they make. Constable Vaalele takes personal responsibility to ensure that all relationships with NGOs and partner agencies are developed and maintained to the highest possible standard, and with her excellent array of skills and attitude, the team have made significant in-roads in the community they serve.

Constable Usafono stands out for her amazing ability in the uptake and development of the CMIS database, which was introduced in the
Pacific in April of this year.

Inspector Karen Smith
Samoa Mentor

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