NEWS

ANALYSIS: Together Against Crime

A proposal to allow security companies  to work with Police is innovative and is one of the best ways to fight and prevent crime. It is contained in a White Paper
08 Aug 2015 14:37
ANALYSIS: Together Against Crime
Nemani Tueli. Photo: Paulini Ratulailai

A proposal to allow security companies  to work with Police is innovative and is one of the best ways to fight and prevent crime.

It is contained in a White Paper recently presented to the Government Standing Order Committee (SSOC) which advises the Security Board comprising relevant Government agencies.

The paper comes in the wake of growing public concern over the increasing number of violent crimes that involve home invasion, robbery and sexual offences.

The recent incident about the performance of the Nakasi Police Station which took more than three hours to investigate a report of home invasion, burglary and theft is a case in point. It’s quite obvious that Police lack manpower and vehicles to operate a Police station at the same capacity both for day and night shifts.

This is what this paper tries to address in the hope that measures it recommends will significantly reduce crime.

The author is Nemani Tueli, managing director Rhino Security Services, which was set up in Nadi in 2003. He has had 15 years of experience in New Zealand as a static guard, operator and contractor and his paper is based on those experiences.

The paper suggests there should be a prescribed working relationship between security firms and Police.

“There will be a strong element of constant communication not only at street level but also by regular meetings between the two groups at the local Police stations, private sector participation in the Community Policing Forums (CPFs) and establishment of linked radio networks,” the paper says.

It recommends that the number of security companies should be reduced to streamline the joint policing initiative. This will eliminate the fly-by-night operators who give the industry a bad name.  There are more than 800 security firms in Fiji. To get registered for a Security Master Licence, a company pays $800.

If this is raised to $5000 it will drive away the rogue companies and increase revenue for Government.

The paper suggests the Security Standing Order Committee re-evaluate its current open-door  Security Master Licence issuing policy.

“For example, in New Zealand, areas at the bottom of the North Island i.e. from Kapiti Coast to Wellington City, covers 7860 square kilometres with a total population of 472,760 which consists of seven towns and four cities. They have only 15 security firms providing static guards in the whole region,” the paper said.

“When you look at New Zealand as a country compared to Fiji, geographically, economically they are far larger, but the number of security companies operating is smaller compared to ours.

– “I strongly recommend the SSOC should apply a quota on the number of security companies that are issued with the Security Master Licences.

“Financial sustainability to the Security Master Licence provider, is significant to its operations and provide them leverage to deliver their responsibilities in a professional manner. It will also supplement the Police for additional manpower, and will also have access to better resources, such as vehicles, sophisticated equipment, adequate remuneration to their guards.”

The paper also looks at expanding services to other areas such as training, having its own dog unit, Quick Response Team, monitoring station, developing investigative capacities and collecting information, evidence and developing a criminal case for Police to prosecute.

 

Paper says Major Causes of Crime

– Urban drift
– Influx of new religious groups in Fiji. While the Indo-Fijians have only two groups, Hindus and Muslims, the iTaukei  have many breakaway churches causing a lot of split. This causes confusion among young iTaukei
– Government should re-asses its church permit/licence policy
– Criminals employing beggars and homeless to commit illegal activities
– Unemployment
– Street people who roam the streets
– Consumption of  illegal drugs
– Moral decay

 

Recommendations in white paper

– Set up zones to help eliminate criminal activities
– Use demographics to determine crime risks
– Higher education for security guards to be funded by Government
– Compulsory for security firms to join professional association
– Review tendering process and identify total value of security work
– Make tax free imported security equipment
The paper says all the measures recommended will:

– Reduce crime and create an environment in which business can thrive
– Attract foreign investors to do business in Fiji
– Increase the number of tourists coming to Fiji
– Help Police perform their role effectively
– Reduce high insurance cost and losses
– Make communities safer to live in.

Feedback:  nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

 

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