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18 September 2023, 11:28am
Media Release

AFP assistance bolsters Tonga Police capabilities

Editor’s note: Images from the visit are available via Hightail

The AFP has strengthened its ties with Tonga Police and provided new equipment to boost its capabilities to better combat transnational crime, domestic violence and child abuse.

The increase in support was delivered during a recent visit to Tonga by AFP Assistant Commissioner Nigel Ryan – the AFP’s first official visit since the COVID-19 pandemic.

The meeting between AFP and Tonga Police provided the opportunity to reaffirm united goals under the Tonga-Australia Police Partnership (TAPP) and share fresh ideas on best policing practices.

During the visit, the AFP provided critical equipment needed to complete the final stage of Tonga Police’s radio project, including 178 handheld radios, eight base stations and a range of ancillary supporting equipment.

Assistant Commissioner Ryan toured the Tonga Police Headquarters where he was provided the opportunity to formally open the new Transnational Crime Unit, which will be used to undertake significant domestic and international investigations.

AFP members joined Tonga Police at the Families Free of Violence event where the program goal of survivors of family violence in Tonga – Access to better quality services and ongoing support was discussed among key stakeholders.

The AFP also provided digital interviewing machines to Tonga Police’s Domestic Violence Unit, which will enhance Tonga Police’s ability to prosecute domestic violence and child abuse investigations.

Assistant Commissioner Ryan also presented musical instruments and sound equipment under the Pacific Immediate Initiatives program, along with new name tags for Tonga Police uniforms.

Assistant Commissioner Ryan said the visit emphasised the strong collaboration and policing partnership between Australia and Tonga.

“Our commitment to enhancing Tonga Police’s capabilities reflects the enduring friendship we share with one another and our ongoing dedication to ensuring a safe and secure Pacific,” Assistant Commissioner Ryan said.

"The equipment provided during this trip will ensure Tonga Police is appropriately equipped to combat evolving law enforcement challenges across a range of crime types.

“As the AFP and Tonga Police continue to drive further improvements, we look forward to the ongoing exchange of valuable policing insights through the Tonga-Australia Police Partnership.”

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