Law enforcement in Tuvalu

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Tuvalu has no army, but its national police force, the Tuvalu Police Force headquartered in Funafuti includes a Maritime Surveillance Unit, Customs, Prisons and Immigration. Police officers wear British style uniforms.

Police powers and responsibilities[edit]

Main article: Crime in Tuvalu

The police service is managed in accordance with the Police Powers and Duties Act (2009) and the Police Powers and Duties Regulations (2012). The powers of arrest and search are described in Part III of the Criminal Procedure Code (1963).

The Penal Code (1965) is a codification of what crimes under Law of Tuvalu. This legislation is published online by the Office of the Attorney General of Tuvalu;[1] also by the Pacific Islands Legal Information Institute, with the law set out in the 2008 Revised Edition;[2] with a list of current legislation (up to 2012).[3]

Status under the Constitution of Tuvalu[edit]

According to the Constitution of Tuvalu,

Role in maritime surveillance[edit]

The police have a Pacific class patrol boat (Te Mataili) provided by Australia under the Pacific Patrol Boat Program for use in maritime surveillance, search and rescue and fishery patrol.[4]

Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands[edit]

Tuvalu provided police officers to the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands from December 2004. Tuvaluan Police officer Fanini Maleko was the contingent commander of the Tuvaluan police serving as part of RAMSI's Participating Police Force (PPF).

Social institutions of Tuvalu[edit]

Each island has its own high-chief, or ulu-aliki, and several sub-chiefs (alikis). The community council is the Falekaupule (the traditional assembly of elders) or te sina o fenua (literally: "grey-hairs of the land").[5] As defined in the Falekaupule Act (1997), Falekaupule means "traditional assembly in each island...composed in accordance with the Aganu of each island". Aganu means traditional customs and culture.

Section 41 and Schedule 3 of the Falekaupule Act (1997) provides that “[i]t shall be the duty of every Falekaupule and of every Kaupule to use its resources to assist the police in the detection and prevention of crime within the area of its authority.”[6]


  1. ^ "Tuvalu - Tuvalu Legislation On-line". Office of the Attorney General of Tuvalu. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  2. ^ "Tuvalu - Laws of Tuvalu 2008 Revised Edition". PACLII. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  3. ^ "Tuvalu – Current Legislation - alphabetical Index". PACLII. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  4. ^ "Tuvalu country brief". Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Retrieved 14 April 2010. 
  5. ^ Peter Bennetts and Tony Wheeler (2001). Time & Tide: The Islands of Tuvalu. Lonely Planet. ISBN 1-86450-342-4. 
  6. ^ "Falekaupule Act (1997)". PACLII. Retrieved 6 April 2014. 

External links[edit]