Minister concern about lawsuits against Police


Minister of Police and Prisons Lefau Faualo Harry Schuster has cautioned his Ministry on the need to “understand and follow the law” in carrying out their duties to avoid lawsuits. 

The Minister’s concerns arose after going through lawsuits against the Ministry and in a recent case, close to a million tala was paid out by the Police, which in fact are taxpayer’s monies. 

Faualo was referring to the case of Suitupe Misa who sued the Police for unlawful arrest and detention in relation to an incident in 2015 when he was arrested at gunpoint in public by a contingent of armed police officers and detained.

This case was resolved in a settlement two years ago. 

“The Ministry paid $800,000 tala in this lawsuit,” said the Minister. 

Adding this is quite concerning said Faualo.

“These legal ramifications are paid by public funds, hence the need for the new Commissioner Auapa’au Logoitino Filipo to ensure the Police Officers study and understand the law.

“This happens when Police don’t follow the law and I have advised the Officers to learn the laws they are enforcing. 

“Once they understand and know what’s in the law, the chances of them making a mistake is minimal, but if they don’t understand the law, the chances of them making a mistake is great,” said Faualo. 

He said people have rights, and if that is violated, the legal ramifications will fall on the Police.