A community initiative by Tonga Police to strengthen its relationship with the local Asian community, brought a New Zealand Police Asian Liaison Officer to Tonga last week.
NZ Inspector Kai Shao joined Constable Giovannie Finau, the Tonga Police Asian Liaison Officer to meet with staff from the Chinese Embassy and several Chinese victims of crimes during meetings held from November 7-11.
Chinese shop owners in Nuku'alofa have expressed concerns for being targeted in recent armed robbery cases, resulting in injuries and property stolen.
Inspector Shao said that a majority of the Chinese believed the safety situation in Tonga had gradually improved in recent years as most of them enjoy living and working in Tonga, with some living here for over 40 years. “However, they expressed concerns in relation to some recent high profile cases where the Chinese people have been targeted in offences resulting in their serious injury and large amount of cash and property stolen.”
A Police spokesperson said the meetings had been positive.
“Through the two police officers and Chinese Embassy staff interaction, the Chinese community had provided us with some constructive feedback on how Tonga Police and the Chinese community can work together to further reduce victimization and ensure public trust and confidence in Tonga Police.”
Tonga Police had adopted this initiative as part of an ongoing community engagement and strategy after seeing an increase in the number of the Asian population, especially Chinese people living in Tonga.
Tonga Police works with New Zealand Police under the Tonga Police Development Program.