NZ Police specialists on Pacific Island Prevention Policing Program and Cybersecurity in Niue

Team Leader Inspector Brendon Keenan

A team of four New Zealand Police specialists arrived on the island a week ago and have been working with the Niue Police department on a special program known as the Pacific Island Prevention Policing Program. 

The team includes team leader Inspector Brendon Keenan, Cybersecurity specialist Enoka Feterika of the International Service Group and Cyber Safety Pasifika (CSP), International Strategy and Planning Manager Mariska Kecskemeti-Zhu and International Strategy and Planning Advisor Alisha Gilchrist. 

The team conducted a training needs analysis to identify the needs and gaps of the Niue Police in particular with cybersecurity and the prevention policing program. 

BCN News spoke with Inspector Brendon Keenan earlier this week on the Pacific Island Prevention Policing Program that they were here for. 

“It’s a program that has a multilateral program across multiple realm countries and other realm countries, Niue being one of them. And so we are here to look at a prevention operating model for Niue police.”

“This is the second time that we’ve been here recently and this time was certainly to meet the chief and to discuss some of the things around the needs of Niue police and also how we can put interventions in place to help the drivers of crime for Niue police whether that be roads, domestic violence, alcohol.”

Inspector Keenan says that they found alcohol the main driver of crime in the Pacific Island countries. 

“We are really trying to focus on what interventions we can put in place for alcohol because often it’s the alcohol that leads to other drivers of demand. For example, alcohol could affect people drink driving on the roads or it could create violence or it could create disorder. So we are looking at interventions that we can do to get ahead of that threshold or get ahead in terms of the game of how we can prevent crime happening before it happens.”

Inspector Keenan is mindful that all police organisations are limited with resources, staff and vehicles and are working on prevention operating models that would help reduce their demand. 

Cybersecurity specialist Enoka Feterika told BCN News that supporting realm countries, especially Niue, is important during a high rate of cyber crime in the Pacific. 

“I think with the increase of cyber crime within the Blue Pacific it’s important that we equip our Pacific nations, especially here in Niue being a focus country for New Zealand, just to conduct and identify gaps so that we can support Niue as best as we can, particularly the Niue Police.”

BCN News understands that the bill for cybersecurity in Niue still remains dormant for many years. Feterika is hopeful that Niue will be able to pass this bill sooner rather than later, especially with the current high rate of cyber crime in the Pacific. 

The team have returned back to New Zealand on Monday’s flight this week and are looking to return back to the island in the next few months.

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