NEWS

People Still Ignore Police Warnings

People are still drinking in public places in Suva and Nadi despite a Police crackdown. In Suva, a Fiji Sun team yesterday noticed people drinking alcohol at Robertson Road and
27 Jun 2015 10:19
People Still Ignore Police Warnings
Police officers talking to a group at Marks Park along Waimanu Road yesterday. Photo: Ronald Kumar

People are still drinking in public places in Suva and Nadi despite a Police crackdown.

In Suva, a Fiji Sun team yesterday noticed people drinking alcohol at Robertson Road and Marks Park along Waimanu Road, two favourite drinking spots.

No police were in sight at the time until the Fiji Sun team alerted the Totogo Police Station in downtown Suva. They quickly dispatched a patrol team.

The drinkers were asked to go to their homes if they wanted to continue drinking. No arrests were made by the Police team.

There was no drama as previously where punch-ups occurred. The drinkers were told that the Fiji Sun news team and the Police were ensuring that the community was safe from illegal drinking activities.

Police Commissioner Ben Groenewald said the police team was working hard to ensure public safety was maintained at all times.

In an earlier interview, Mr Groenewald had said it was unfortunate that while they had done proper policing on certain drinking spots, such as those along Waimanu Road in Suva and around the city, drunkards seemed to keep moving to new drinking spots.

In Nadi, some revellers were drinking under a tree, behind the Angels Club in Martintar, yesterday. People using a road nearby have been taking another route to avoid them.

Residents have refused to speak for fear of reprisals.

The Nadi Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Dr Ram Raju says the chamber strongly condemns such behaviour.

“Drinking in such spots or places where they are not supposed to is a criminal act,” he said.

“During a recent public consultation with the Commissioner of Police, the chamber welcomed the Commissioner’s comment that anybody caught drunk and disorderly will be dealt with accordingly.”

He warned all those who were abusing the special tourism zone.

“The police will be hard on them as assured by the Commissioner on such activities.”

Commissioner Groenewald at a Talanoa session in Nadi recently, said: “There is no reason why our police cannot enforce the existing laws, drunk and disorderly is an offence of the minor offences decree, it is an issue that needs to be addressed.”

Mr Groenewald said licensed owners were not supposed to sell alcohol to those who are already intoxicated.

“I have already given them instructions to address these issues and if necessary submit reports to the local government so they can cancel licences.

“I think it is time that we stood up against these people because they are an obstacle to the normal people walking to work in the early hours of the morning.”

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