Police struggle with ever-increasing workload

Tuesday November 20, 2018 Published in Crime

The sheer volume of offending dealt with by the police should “give pause” to any criticism that police officers on Rarotonga are not doing their jobs, says Cook Islands Police Service spokesman Trevor Pitt.

 

“Take the 20 people under curfew restrictions, the 139 disqualified drivers, and add a further 21 people subject to bail bond conditions, and the perspective on police work may be better appreciated.  “Those 180 individuals being monitored outnumber police personnel, so the community may well ask whether the Police Service is adequately resourced or not.

“Each month, those subject to court-ordered curfews are monitored at random times of the night, every night.

“In October, 20 people – nearly all of them young males, were subject to curfews. And during October, police had to respond to 10 incidents of breaches of these court orders.

“What is disturbing about this is the repeat offending by suspects under court orders. They simply breach their bail conditions every month. 

“Suspects already facing charges such as burglary, theft, and unlawful taking of motorbikes are sometimes adding to the (overall) list of offences.”

Apart from breaching the court orders, number of people re-offending is clearly shows in police statistics, Pitt says.

“Over the last six months, contempt of court incidents have ranged from eight to 15 a month. Officers are required to chase these offenders down on an all-too-regular basis.

“Correspondingly, back in court, Police Prosecution regularly charge offenders with breaches of the orders.”

Over the last six months, breaches of court orders have ranged from seven to 18 a month, Pitt says.

“The prosecution lawyers for the police are required to pursue these cases on top of ongoing files related to the full range of traffic, violence, and drug offences that appear before the court.

Of equal concern is the plight of the victims in cases where suspects continue to offend while out on bail, and under curfew.”    

                - Release/CS

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