Community Policing

Tonga Police is committed to developing a Community Policing Program which will be a fundamental part of how Police remain accountable to our Community. The Police Act 2010 expressly states under section 9 that police shall work together with the community and where practicable adopt a community policing approach to problem solving.

In order to build and maintain levels of community confidence and support it is essential that we work closely with all Communities. We have established structures and policies to ensure community policing contribute to increasing trust and confidence among communities.

Our Community Policing program operate on the following principles:

  • Communities are the focus of policing.
  • Police Officers shall be accountable and visible to their Community.
  • Police Officer shall listen to their community and Provide opportunities for community participation on crime prevention, jointly prioritize concerns, Keep people informed about policing strategies and operations.
  • Community Police Officer shall engage other Government, Civil Society and Community Groups just as youth in problem solving.
  • Community policing requires an integrated approach and is the responsibility of all Police Staff irrespective of role or rank.

Community Policing is a whole of policing approach for Tonga Police that is integrated into all policing activities. Important to the program is the Community Policing Officer: a dedicated Police Officer whose duties are principally those of working with a Community or Village. This involves problem solving in partnership with the community in order to improve safety.

It is important to realize that community policing responses will vary according to the local situation, environment and problem.  The Community Policing framework encompasses other initiatives such as the Community Patrol Volunteer, Community Posts and the Community Police Officer.

The program also carries out a safety awareness campaign targeting schools. These address road safety, domestic violence, drug education and housebreaking. The initiative has only been piloted on Tongatapu which covers eleven primary schools and ten secondary schools.