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More than 3,000 people arrested on Covid-10 Operation since March

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 07/10/2020

Tonga Police have arrested a total of 3,023 people to date since the commencement of the Police COVID19 Operation back in March this year, when the State of Emergency was declared in Tonga as a result of the COVID19 pandemic.

According to a statement from the Ministry of Police – of those 3,023 arrested, 1,380 were arrested for breaching the National Emergency Lockdown Notice and the Restriction Notice; 1,330 of which was for those that failed to comply with direction and 50 for obstructing an authorized officer.

The 1,643 other arrests, had 555 arrests for drunk in public places, 313 Domestic Violence cases majority of which were issued with a Police Safety Order, 122 arrested for possession of illicit drugs, 102 arrest warrant, 81 housebreaking and theft as well as other minor arrests.

A Special Operation was held last Friday night between the 2nd of October to Saturday 3rd October this year with the aim of enforcing curfew conditions and amendments to the Traffic Act, this resulted in 59 arrests mainly for failure to comply with these directions.

The statements authorities have noticed that some of the curfew conditions are being abused by those who are granted approval to work during the curfew hours.

Majority of the issues during this operation were alcohol related.

In a press release from Tonga Police – a statement from the Acting Deputy Police Commissioner – ‘Atunaisa Taumoepeau thanked the Community Patrol Volunteers for all their great support during the curfew hours.

He adds that people should respect the law and police officers as they go about their duty because this is a difficult time but the public need to follow instructions and comply with directions.

The total reported crime has dropped 18.74% (-293 offences) compared with the same period last year.

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