Tonga Police Sergeant supporting regional capabilities to respond to gender and family harm

The AFP and the Pacific Community for Law Enforcement Cooperation (PCLEC) has welcomed seconded Pacific Officer, Sergeant ‘Anamalia ‘Aho, from Tonga Police to lead the Gender and Family Harm (GFH) Capability Development Initiative (CDI).

Sergeant ‘Aho has been seconded to PCLEC to share her knowledge and skills with regional partners in order to build collective capabilities in preventing and responding to gender and family harm.

As part of her role leading the initiative, Sergeant ‘Aho will revise current policies and procedures for responding to gender and family harm, develop tools and guidance for local police officers and run leadership and advocacy events.

Sergeant ‘Aho recently spent some time in Canberra as part of her secondment, meeting with members of PCLEC.

“Gender and family harm is a serious and common problem in many of our Pacific communities,” Sergeant ‘Aho said.

“We need to improve understanding of the police role in responding to incidents of gender and family harm to help keep our communities safe.

“However, gender-based violence cannot be addressed by police only and needs the support from various partners and stakeholders.

“Being surrounded by the PCLEC team in Canberra as a seconded officer makes the work easier, and collectively we will make things happen.”

Sergeant ‘Aho has extensive expertise and background in this crime type, having authored several newspaper articles, overseen international initiatives on gender and family harm prevention and provided general advisory services to multiple policing organisations.

AFP Commander Pacific Melinda Phelan said it was wonderful to have a Pacific officer with Sergeant ‘Aho’s skills and experience join PCLEC and support the development of regional capability in such an important area of work.

“We are looking forward to continuing to work with Sergeant ‘Aho on identifying key issues and supporting the implementation of the CDI to help keep Pacific communities safe,” Commander Phelan said.

“Together we can work to ensure Pacific police are well equipped to prevent and investigate incidents of gender and family harm in their community.”

PCLEC is a regional coordination mechanism established by the Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police (PICP). PCLEC coordinates capability development for Pacific police in key priority areas identified by the PICP, including gender and family harm. The AFP is responsible for managing and delivering PCLEC, in conjunction with Pacific police partners and in collaboration with diverse domestic and international stakeholders.

/Public Release. View in full here.