NATION

Residents In Fear Of Public Drinking As Festive Season Nears

With Christmas drawing closer, many suburbs in the Suva-Nausori corridor has seen an increase in the consumption of alcohol in public.
20 Nov 2019 12:42
Residents In Fear Of Public Drinking As Festive Season Nears
A group drinking alcohol at Wailoaloa Beach in Nadi on August 25, 2019. Drinking in public places as such is prohibited. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

Tis the season to be jolly, but there are many who take it as the season to be drunk and make a nuisance.

With Christmas drawing closer, many suburbs in the Suva-Nausori corridor has seen an increase in the consumption of alcohol in public.

Residents of Raiwai in Suva are concerned. They say they have seen young men gather in public places and consume alcohol openly, without having to answer to the law.

Janiff Khan said there was a bus shelter on McFarlane Road, which was being used as a drinking spot.

“It is mostly Sunday mornings and Saturday evenings. A group would be sitting and drinking at the bus stop which has a path leading to Kia Street,” he said.

“That place is quite busy. People use that path to go to the shop. I have not heard anything this year, but last year there were incidents where the drunkards hassled people passing by for money.

“And some have even been mugged there. It is bad for young women as men make comments.”

Another location sighted in Raiwai where such alleged incidents take place is the pathway from Kia Road to Grantham Road. Grantham Park is also a popular spot.

“It is our neighbours and the young men we know, but this habit is not acceptable. Drinking in a public place and on a Sunday is not the Fijian way,” Marica Qalomaiwasa said.

The Fiji Police Force said past trends showed the festive season always recorded an increase in alcohol and domestic-related cases.

Police Commissioner Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho has directed Divisional Police Commanders to relook at their capabilities and ensure officers on the ground are able to confront situations.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

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