In a media briefing Police spokesperson, Inspector Maotaoalii Kaioneta Aliisolia confirmed the existence of gangs comprising of young people.
“These are the things the Samoa Police have been preparing for,” Maota said.
“And now that they have come out and we have recognized some of them, we’re going to show them how the law works around this island. We have no room for hooligans and misfit teenagers in the urban area,” he added.
Maota says police believe these groups are responsible for initiating brawls between schools as well as gang fights and stoning incidents last month in Tufuiopa and Lalovaea.
“We have recognised that some most of these young criminals are aged from 18 downwards and we cannot speculate on how young it goes, but that’s the group we are dealing with,” he said.
“They are a group of rebels who don’t live with their own families or haven’t completed schools so they resort to violence and rebellion in the streets, and the police isn’t going to have any of it. We’re going to apprehend them, press charges and make sure they land in prison for their crimes,” he added.
“We’re calling out for families and parents as well, if you see your child wearing a red bandana, advise them, before the law takes them in,” he said.
Maota says one of the biggest gangs they are investigating is called OPO - which stands for “Ola pe Oti” in Samoan and translated - Life or Death in English.
Police believe the gangs comprise of teenagers of about 50 to a 100 members.