The increasing number of criminal complaints lodged by tourists being attacked and robbed in the Country is concerning, said police Commissioner Auapa’au Logoitino Filipo in an interview with Radio Polynesia.
“It is evident this matter should be addressed on all levels, from the community, and the respective village councils to the churches.
“This issue should not be left alone for the Police to deal with. This should be a collective effort, everyone needs to play their part to ensure Samoa is a safe place for tourists visiting our shores.”
Samoa opened its international borders last month and already the complaints by tourists are mounting.
“This does not paint a good picture for Samoa,” said the Police Commissioner.
His comments follow the latest complaint regarding a woman and her children taking a walk on the beach front road when they were robbed in broad daylight.
“As well as unlawful removal of property of people here to record the survivor TV shows and reports of people attempting to break into beach resorts. This is unacceptable and it has to stop.
Auapa’au said the Police are the last people that respond to calls for assistance, and there should continuous reminders by the village leaders across the Country on the villages by-laws and policies to deter these types of “ugly behaviour”.
“Adding that tourism is the backbone of Samoa’s economy and if this continues to happen, tourists will not come to Samoa and this will have a huge impact on the Country.
“This is concerning and should not be taken lightly by everyone, not just the police alone. This includes taxi drivers, bus drivers, tourists sites operators and especially the authority of the village councils.
“This should be a collective effort from everyone if we want to shift our tourism to the next level. Everyone from young kids to the eldest should understand why this is important.
“We need to change our mindsets,” he told Radio Polynesia.
In the meantime, the Police Commissioner sent out a reminder that criminal acts always has consequences and warned that the jail term conviction for assault is 12 months in jail, robbery is 10 years while aggravated robbery carries a maximum jail term of 14 years.