Two fires suspected arson

Saturday August 04, 2018 Written by Published in Crime
Betela store Tex Mart was destroyed in a fi re on June 22. PHOTO: John Hay. 18080324 Betela store Tex Mart was destroyed in a fi re on June 22. PHOTO: John Hay. 18080324

Police Commissioner Maara Tetava says the Cook Islands Police Service is committing a large amount of resources into investigating the fires which destroyed Friendly Mart, Tex Mart and RaroMart.

Two of the fires are suspected arsons, and he says investigations will not stop until police have apprehended those responsible.

“Investigations are being conducted into the recent fires on Rarotonga and Aitutaki. Two of the fires at this stage are suspected arsons while the other, according to the Fire Service is electrical, Tetava said in a statement issued on Thursday.

"The investigations are progressing steadily as would be expected in such investigations. We have prioritised these investigations over others."

The increased work devoted to the fire incidents would have consequences as a result of the diversion of resources and staff, Tetava added.

“We have had to remove staff from other teams to beef up the fire investigation team.

“We have also diverted other staff to other teams to ensure we have good coverage of the island 24/7, but the effect will take its toll on our staff, with most not having had much time off from work."

The Police Commissioner’s remarks regarding the fires were included in a larger statement featured in CINews yesterday.

In it, Tetava hit back at criticism of the Cook Islands Police Service, saying that unwarranted attacks and criticism of the police in the media would not help alleviate the problems and pressures involved in curbing crime in the Rarotonga community.

            - Release

Leave a comment