Niue Police this morning welcomed Fiji Police back into the Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police

(PICP) conference as they and nineteen of twenty one member countries of the PICP gathered for their annual conference. This is the first time Fiji Police have been present at the conference for some time. Their inclusion comes after an invitation was extend by the attending Chiefs following last year’s conference and the verified elections held in Fiji last year.

The conference is being held in the capital of Alofi Town and is the second time Niue Police have hosted the conference (2007 first year as hosts). The conference provides an opportunity to come together to share, to learn and build collective knowledge around policing the pacific.

Acting Premier Pokotoa Sipeli says “It is a great pleasure to welcome all the Chiefs of Police to Niue and I wish them a productive conference. Good policing is highly important in our pacific nations. Not only does it increased trust and confidence in our Police , it also encourages more of our people to become involved in helping to prevent crime in their villages and homes.

Safe communities equal safe countries for our people and for visiting tourists, which is important for the success of our economy and the future development of all our nations.”

The conference begins on Wednesday 19 August with an opening ceremony and concludes with a Chiefs only retreat on Friday morning. A number of PICP programmes will be presented with special workshops on Disaster and Emergency Management and Disaster Victim Identification. Niue Chief of Police Tony Edwards says “I want to host and encourage a conference characterized by open debate on how to deliver the best policing service to our communities. “This year’s theme of Taking Ownership – Driving Change, reflects the leadership that we must display in the changing environment we face, the diversity of Policing and the public safety issues that provide our daily challenges.

“While we can be individually, small pacific islands countries and feel isolated, a conference such as this shows the collective strength that exists to address those crimes which extend across our borders and allows the sharing of knowledge between us all to design and agree on meaningful and practical solutions for crime prevention in our villages.”

Niue Chief of Police Tony Edwards becomes the Chair of the PICP for the next year, taking over from NZ Police Commissioner Mike Bush.

More information about the PICP and PICP programmes, visit www.picp.co.nz.

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Released on behalf of Niue Police by Mere Wilson Tuala-Fata, Senior Media Advisor, NZ Police.