The Niue Police Department annual report for the July 1 2022- June 30th 2023 period highlighted a number of key statistics and issues including the staffing shortage forcing the Police department to operate with less than half of the staff during the period reported.
Chief of Police Tim Wilson told BCN News that they are working with the government’s employing authority the Public Service Commission to recruit new police constables, understanding as well that staff shortage is affecting other government agencies.
Also reported is the increase in revenue generated by the Police Department with more than double previous earnings for the government collected by Niue Police.
However, the Police annual report was adamant that they not be considered a revenue-generating agency with the cautionary note that the Police should never be viewed as revenue collectors but rather as those who are charged with enforcing laws.
The Police also reported that 31 infringement notices were issued for the period reported 2022-2023 under the new Transport Act regulations which came into effect in June 2021.
Of those 31 infringement notices, 2 requested court review and one visitor left the island without paying his fine.
One key issue highlighted as affecting road safety is unlicensed drivers. Niue Police reported that they have offered school holiday driver’s training courses but not many students attend.
They expect to boost their drivers programme to include information on alcohol and its effects on driving and judgement.
With regards to dog control, the Police reported 3 cases of dog attacks on people were reported to the Police all of which occurred around the village green at Avatele. One case of a dog attacking another dog was reported at Tapeu in Alofi. All the dogs that attacked people were located and euthanised.
Niue Police reported approximately 100 more dogs were euthanized by the police.
The top three jobs that the Police department spends most of its time performing are dealing with driver’s licences, Aviation and Airport security, and drawing raffles.
Niue Police logged 474 jobs in the reported period, an increase from the previous year of 447 jobs.
The highest number of jobs is dealing with driver’s licences with 25%, followed by aviation and airport security with 21% and drawing of raffles in third with 13%.
Despite the department working with fewer than 50% of their staff, the report highlighted that the average staff member completed nearly 60 jobs, an increase from 34 in the previous year.
The Police report that these jobs do not include the duties they have to perform in relation to Covid-19 response.
The other reported jobs include responding to incidents or events and information intelligence which accounts for around 11% consecutively.
Followed by dealing with animal complaints at 7 % and another 7% dealing with infringement notices.
Of the 31 infringement notices issued in the reported period, more than half of the notices were for speeding in excess of 21 km an hour over the speed limit. 7 of those issued with infringement notices were for speeding in excess of 31 km per hour over the speed limit. The Niue Police report was tabled at the last sitting of the Fono Ekepule.