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Arms Eyed To Fight Crime

Arms Eyed To Fight Crime
Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho with Kashmir, Lautoka, businessman Sanjay Lal at the site being earmarked for a Police post. Photo: Charles Chambers
October 13
11:00 2016

Police and the Republic of Fiji Military Forces are in talks to use a specialist armed military unit to help combat serious crimes.

Police Commissioner Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho made the announcement during a meeting  of the National Board of Crime Stoppers in Lautoka yesterday.

Brigadier-General Qiliho said a major issue was whether the Police were capable of handling armed robberies.

“At the moment we are an unarmed institution and we carry non-lethal forms of gadgets like pepper spray and batons.

“What if we have people with hunting rifles, axes or knives going for banks or service stations?”

He said he had had talks with the RFMF on how they could assist in these instances with an armed team.

He said there had been “a lot of discussions” with the military on this issue and that legislation was needed to be drawn up in as far as rules of engagement went.

He had just returned from China where he said he had talks with the Chinese Government over the acquisition of drones in a step up towards their fight against the rise in serious crimes.

He said he had talks on how technology could be used and requested China to assist the Police with drones.

He said the drones could also be used at night to help Police with investigations.

He said these two major issues would be part of the presentation that would be made to Government later this month.

He said the Chinese Government had already provided CCTV cameras which would be set up in Suva City and connected to the Police command centre.

Meanwhile, Brigadier-General Qiliho said the idea floated by the owner of the shopping centre in Kashmir, Sanjay Lal, on the ideal place for Police posts being constructed on community land under Housing Authority, was good.

“Some Police posts are in some areas not serving the purpose they were initially set up for.

“We need to do thorough needs analysis so that we could better position the Police force in their combat against crime.

“We need to work with the Bureau of Statistics to look at areas such as Kashmir in Lautoka, Votualevu in Nadi and Davuilevu near Nausori, look at Police statistics for these areas and look at our manpower ability.

“This businessman has offered to build the Police post and offered to pay for the monthly electricity and water bills for his whole life.

“I know people are saying it’s right beside his shop but it is not his as the Police post is for the community,” Brigadier-General Qiliho said.

“The ‘modus operandi’ of criminals have shifted where there are more migratory criminals, where criminals from Suva carry out crimes in the west and make a dash back to Suva again.”

He said criminals were now targeting well off people as business premises and service stations were now equipped with CCTV cameras where the owner could easily monitor the movements of people through their phones.

“People who get richer and who are well off, become individualistic, where they don’t talk to neighbours and secure their own environment.

“These people are the targets for these criminals.

“They study our methods of patrolling and where we are and when there is a gap they exploit that quickly.”


Edited by Maraia Vula

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