NEWS

Police Warn Bootleggers

Weekend street fights along Waimanu Road and Marks Street in Suva have become a weekly occurrence. Yesterday morning, the Fiji Sun team, out on the beat, witnessed yet another brawl
13 Apr 2015 22:59
Police Warn Bootleggers

Weekend street fights along Waimanu Road and Marks Street in Suva have become a weekly occurrence.
Yesterday morning, the Fiji Sun team, out on the beat, witnessed yet another brawl involving a group of about 15 men in three different fights and hurling abuse at each other and passing vehicles.
Also witnessed were a group of girls, no older than 12 years, dressed in their Sunday church attire fleeing to safety when fights broke out among men who were clearly intoxicated.
A group of Police officers, out on their regular patrol, were seen running down Waimanu Road to break up the fights.
The Police officers were also seen chasing after some men, some of whom had visible injuries, swollen faces and blood-stained clothes.
Despite a number of calls to the Police last night, the Fiji Sun was unable to establish if any arrests were made.
The manager of Suva Hotel at Waimanu Road, Luisa Ulalea, said people tend to buy beer from a nearby black market.
“We normally close at 4.30am, after that people go out they go and buy alcohol from black markets in Toorak and end up drinking at the Marks Park,” she said.
“Some even sit and drink outside the old RB Patel building across the hotel and make noises.
“Soon you hear them shouting, swearing and then starting a scene infront of the hotel where our hotel gets blamed for it when in fact it is the people’s behaviour, which is a concern.”
Police chief of operations, Assistance Commissioner Rusiate Tudravu, stressed that unfortunate deaths have resulted from streetfights.
A warning is now issued to boot leggers. The operations team are monitoring the illegal sale of alcohol and the Police will not hesitate to make arrests.
“The Commissioner’s directive of arresting those found drunk and disorderly in a public place stands so members of the public must take that as a reminder that these incidents won’t be taken lightly,” ACP Tudravu said.
“Operations team have taken in to account that these incidents are bound to occur and as such the number of officers is increased for the later part of the week and the weekend with officers from other Units,” he said.
“We do however request people to drink responsibly because we are aware that a person’s judgment is seriously affected when intoxicated and this could result in he or she doing things they would not normally do if sober. So the responsibility is on every individual.”
The Police said even a punch could cause a death as seen in the past.
“Similar situations where fights have broke out has unfortunately resulted in the death of individuals with the accused having to deal with the consequences as per the law,” ACP Tudravu said.
“So people should really be mindful of the need to drink responsibly because a few hours of over indulgence could have devastating consequences, which can be avoided.”

Feedback: farisha.ahmed@fijisun.com.fj

 

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