Weekend incidents keep police busy

Wednesday April 18, 2018 Written by Published in Crime
Police Commissioner Maara Tetava says the safety of the community is “at risk” due to the problem of repeat offending. Police Commissioner Maara Tetava says the safety of the community is “at risk” due to the problem of repeat offending.

The Cook Islands police were kept busy last weekend, starting on Friday when they executed bench warrants for the arrests of three people. All three were arrested and appeared in the High Court.

One person pleaded guilty to a charge of willful damage and received a suspended sentence of six months, as well as having to pay court costs. Another person appeared on one charge of refusing to undergo a breath alcohol test and another charge of careless driving. The matter was adjourned for two weeks. The third person appeared on a charge of theft and also received a “final warning” for failing to appear. The matter was adjourned for two weeks.

The police also received a callout on Friday afternoon, asking for assistance in the rescue of three young teenagers stranded in the sea off Arorangi. The teens were brought to safety in under half an hour.

Early on Saturday morning, a woman entering the Cook Islands at Rarotonga International Airport was detained after she was found to be carrying a drug-related utensil. The visitor appeared in the High Court later in the morning on a charge of possession of a utensil for drug use and entered no plea. She received bail and was advised to seek legal advice before reappearing in court this Thursday.

On Sunday, during routine random curfew checks, a person was found to have breached their conditions. Police say that they will be filing a charge of contempt of court against the person. On Sunday afternoon, a 15-year-old male was also arrested after breaching his curfew.

The police say they sighted the male at Avatiu Marina. He apparently fled the scene, clipping a police vehicle in the process. Police say that they did not pursue the alleged offender, but later spoke to his parents. The teen was arrested and charged with contempt of court. The police say additional charges of wilful damage, careless driving, and failing to stop are likely to follow.

Cook Islands Police Commissioner Maara Tetava says the public should be aware that court orders issued under bail conditions are “continually being breached by certain offenders”, despite pleas to have them remanded in custody. Tetava says that such “flagrant disregard” of the law leaves the safety of the community at risk.

The police say that the court’s rulings are imposed for “good reason”. They conduct their checks nightly, in order to “uphold the court’s decisions, which provide for the safety of the community”, say the police.

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