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Qiliho: Let’s Continue Duavata Momentum

Qiliho: Let’s Continue  Duavata Momentum
Police Commissioner Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho visiting Nausori Town on December 28, 2017. Photo: Ronald Kumar
January 01
13:06 2018

BY BRIGADIER-GENERAL

SITIVENI QILIHO

COMMISSIONER OF POLICE

As we bid farewell to 2017, it is the Fiji Police Force’s wish that we continue with the momentum of working together through Duavata Community Policing which has proven to be a success this past year.

From the beginning of the year we have reached out for assistance and called for support to prevent crimes against women and children, fight the illegal drug trade, prevent serious crimes and prevent loss of life on our roads. The success of working together can be seen from the split second decision made by Mr Sisa Kanaveilomani and his fellow Tiko Kece Taxi drivers to set aside the time and opportunity to earn money and pursue a hit and run driver.

The success also led to a group of villagers from Momi assisting with the arrest of four men involved in an aggravated robbery case, while six villagers of Naivicula, Tailevu, assisted with the arrest of a 25-year-old man who stole a car in Narere earlier this year, and most recently a group of villagers from Naitasiri called us the moment they read about our request to locate a 14-year-old girl who was an alleged victim of a possible abduction case.

These are only a few examples of success stories drawn from a list of those who have willingly come forward to assist our work in the fight against crime and is proof of what working together through the Duavata Community Policing can achieve.

We have also been extremely fortunate and appreciative of the support shown by communities who have set up crime prevention committees, members of the business communities who are willing to share technological resources, religious organisations and non-government organisations that have opened their doors to us and we assure them that we will continue to work together to fight crime through all possible avenues.

In a few weeks to come we will be releasing the crime statistics for 2017.

2018 action plans

Fight against drugs

One of the crimes anticipated to increase will be drugs due to our focus on farmers, peddlers, dealers and users during the year. We are never going to be disheartened by our critics that say the war on drugs is a losing battle.

We are not going to stop because a single roll or a few grams of hard drugs has a debilitating effect on the user, their family, our community and our nation.

In 2018 our war on drugs will be relentless as we aim to get those involved in this illegal trade off our streets.

Protecting our women and children

We also made progress in 2017 in working with religious organisations in addressing crimes against women and children. Being moral crimes, engaging the support of religious organisations to help create awareness about the need to protect our women and children in their homes or communities will continue to be an area of priority this coming year.

Too many of our women and children are falling victims at the hands of their loved ones, and this has to stop. We are urging everyone to help us protect our women and children.

It is an issue that should not have a specific time or date allocated for when it can or should be talked about; but it is an issue that should have us talking every day.

Aggravated robberies

Aggravated robberies and burglaries are two serious crimes that we will also try to improve on policing in 2018. We admit there are shortfalls from our end and we are working on remedying those, knowing very well the devastation caused when one becomes a victim of these two crimes.

This is why we reintroduced a well-known concept known simply as “Knowing your neighbour”. I use the term well-known because knowing your neighbour is not a new concept, but is the Fijian way of life.

Fijians are known for having the friendly tanoa with their neighbours or sharing a plate of food during a special occasion and asking one another to look after their homes when away for a long period of time.

In 2018, we will be banking on the collective goodwill of every Fijian to look after one another and take pride in their neighbourhoods and prevent it from becoming a crime prone area.

Improving the Force

I can assure every Fijian that we will do our very best to improve our services and do away with the negative issues that have often impacted the way we are perceived by members of the public. We have removed officers who we’ve proven to have ulterior motives for wearing their Police uniform as Fijians deserve only the best from their Fiji Police Force.

Our critics are many, but we also believe that they are outnumbered by those who see the thousands of other officers who continue to work tirelessly day and night to keep you safe.

We believe that the common good will prevail and that the action of one “dirty cop” will not affect our ability to work together to keep criminals off our streets and away from our neighbourhoods.

With the overwhelming support we have received from the Government, the Fiji Police Force will strive to be a more efficient, effective and trusted institution that will serve you better in 2018.

We wish everyone a safe and prosperous New Year.

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