Police Commissioner Shane McLennan has expressed disappointment after he discovered the identity of a senior police officer he had suspended had been shared online.
Mr McLennan reminded the online community the importance to prevent undue prejudice to a person before the prosecuting authority decides to prosecute.
He has asked online users to remove the officer’s name and details.
He said a senior police officer had been suspended in the past week for some alleged workplace behaviours, and there is a current internal investigation being conducted by our Professional Standards Unit into that officer’s behaviour and into the circumstances where these behaviours have occurred.
Depending on the outcome of this investigation, internal disciplinary charges and/or criminal charges may eventuate, he said.
It is therefore incumbent on all parties, particularly those posting on social media, to allow any investigation and subsequent matters to take course in a manner which does not jeopardise future legal proceedings.
“I was disappointed to learn that the suspended officer has been identified and ridiculed via social media posting.
“I ask those posting and sharing such material to reconsider their actions and it would be most appropriate to remove the officer’s name and identifying details. Everyone is entitled to a course of natural justice.
“I can advise that the welfare of members affected by the alleged behaviour is also being attended to.
No workplace is perfect, and Tonga Police strives to make our workplaces safe for all our staff.
“Accordingly, I recently circulated an ALL-STAFF email to raise this matter so that we can all collectively take responsibility and address any unwanted or bad behaviour in the workplace.
I want to thank my staff within Tonga Police for the work they do every day and night to keep our communities safe”.