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Cops get help battling domestic violence in Samoa

Two New Zealand police officers are in Samoa for two weeks to work with their local counterparts to combat domestic violence.Senior Sergeant Sue O’Neil and Detective Sergeant Ian McCambridge are working as mentors with Samoan Police as part of Pacific Prevention of Domestic Violence programme (PPDVP).The work involves establishing and maintaining effective investigation techniques, community awareness programmes as well as build and strengthen existing relationships with relevant agencies such as Samoa Victim Support. This is Senior Sergeant O’Neil’s eighth and last visit to Samoa under the programme, and she will be passing on the mentoring role to her colleague Detective Sergeant McCambridge.“It has been a privilege and a pleasure to work with Samoa police and supporting agencies” she said “We have made real progress in recent years.”This progress was highlighted by Assistant Commissioner Afamasaga Michael So’onalole. “With the support of the New Zealand Police, the Samoa Police Domestic Violence Unit, has recorded a substantial increase in the amount of Domestic Violence being reported to Police over the last six years,” he said.“This indicates confidence in the ability to successfully investigate and prosecute matters involving domestic violence within the community.”The Pacific Prevention of Domestic Violence Programme is a joint initiative of the New Zealand Aid programme of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, NZ Police and the Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police of which Samoa is a member. The PPDVP programme was established in 2007 and due to its ongoing success, is scheduled to continue through to 2016. The objectives of the programme are to raise awareness and knowledge of domestic violence prevention at all levels of the community.