Safety and Enforcement

Safety and Enforcement

The Kiribati Police Service (KPS) advises the public that its core operations might experience a slight change in respond to the COVID-19 effects.  However, it will remain in service to ensure the public safety and enforcement of certain measures outlined in the Alert Levels.

Level 1 and 2

Attending public call/emergency

  • The public is encouraged to contact the police control at PHQ by phone (toll free 188) when non-urgent matter arises, the police control will then relay that message to the concerned police station. Alternatively, they can call the concerned police station for police service.
  • Otherwise (in urgent matters), the public is required to visit the police station for complaint lodging and other services they may require.
  • This is to minimize face to face contacts between the public and police officers.
  • When attending calls police officers must
    • employ social distancing (1.5-2m) from a person to be arrested by firstly asking him/her to turn around and to put his/her hands on his/her back
    • if the person didn’t comply with the above instruction, police officers may employ reasonable force to the person resisting arrest by using baton, or taser gun in order to minimize possible contacts
    • use disposable cuffs on the person and employ home detention in minor cases (at alert level 3, 4 & 5) only.
  • when transporting a person to the police station (in serious cases), police officers must ensure that the person transported should be cuffed first before placing a surgical mask on his/her face to prevent possible transmission of the virus en-route to the station

Interviewing people

In serious cases (crimes) where police-customer interview has to be conducted, a police officer (interviewer) must:

  • Comply with the basic prevention procedures in Level 3 especially wearing surgical masks, washing hands before and after dealing with a customer, and cleaning of all surfaces (tables, counter) with disinfectants or sanitizers before and after the interview is convened.
  • Ensure that the person to be interviewed should clean his/her hands properly at the designated spot outside of the police station and to be given a surgical mask upon arrival or before the interview commences.

Alert level 4 – Confirmed case

Dealing with people (suspected and confirmed cases) and those experiencing flu-like symptoms &
other COVID-19 related factors

  • Ask the person or family members

- Has the person traveled overseas to a country of concern in the last 14 days?
- Has the person been told to self-isolate by the Ministry of Health?
- Have they or anyone in their household been in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19
case in the last 14 days?
2) Actions to be taken by a police officer

If a police officer cannot maintain his/her distance or when they need to transport high risk people
(who is suspected, confirmed or showing a flu-like symptoms with other COVID-19 related factors) in
a police vehicle, they should follow the following procedures;
- For the safety and well-being of other people, police officers should apply reasonable force
in removing the person if that person fails to comply with police instruction (Regulation
under Public Health Act).
- If cooperative, supply the sick person with a surgical mask as soon as practicable
- Ensure that the person must be detained in isolation to other detainees
- Contact the Ministry of Health as soon as practicable for their necessary actions
Curfew (under Public health & Public Order)
Police officers are required to maintain mobile patrol around their jurisdiction every 2 hours throughout
the day and night to ensure that;
- no social gathering is to be seen including but not limited to bingo, church and yagona
gathering, and school,
- all liquor-related licenses must be suspended until further notice
- publican bars must be closed,
- All resturants must be closed
- All grocery shops should remain open for the public needs
Police actions/responsibilities during lockdown
1) Zoning
This occurred when a certain part of the island (eg. Betio) is locked down to limit the spread of the
virus to adjacent towns or villages. In this case, police officers must;
- guard both ends of the zone to restrict all in-coming and outgoing vehicles and people
- escort any vehicle coming into and out of the locked zone only in certain circumstances
where the need to enter such zone arises especially in cases such as transporting a patient
to or from a hospital for medical treatment/isolation, OR delivering vital goods (rice, flour,
etc) to the people in that zone.
2) Maritime police to stop small ferries to and from nearby islands
Police maritime officers must ensure that travel by sea to nearby islands (Abaiang, Marakei, Maiana,
North Tarawa) is stopped completely. To do this, they must;
- Utilize their speed boat and other boats hired for patrolling purposes
- When come across small ferries with the exception of fishing boats from nearby islands,
they must return them asap to their original location;
 by giving them a verbal warning first.
 by firing a warning shot aimed at the air when they refuse to turn back upon a first
 upon complying with the 1 st or 2 nd warning, PMU officers must escort them back to
their original location

- This also applies to small ferries originated from Tarawa.