Vunimono High School Joins Crime Stoppers Scholastic Programme

 The following is the Divisional Police Commander East Senior Superintendent of Police Maretino Qiolevu’s speech during the Scholastic Crime Stoppers launch at Vunimono High School yesterday   The head
10 Sep 2016 09:38
Vunimono High School Joins Crime Stoppers Scholastic Programme
Crimestoppers officials with the members of the Vunimono Scholastic Committee. Photo: Police Media Cell

The following is the Divisional Police Commander East Senior Superintendent of Police Maretino Qiolevu’s speech during the Scholastic Crime Stoppers launch at Vunimono High School yesterday


The head teacher, the School management, teachers, parents and guardians, students

Bula vinaka, Salam Alaykum, Namaste, and a very good morning to you all.

Thank you for the kind words of welcome, and on behalf of the Commissioner of Police I would like to extend the organisation’s appreciation for your school’s willingness to forge this new working relationship.

Today Vunimono High School joins the many other secondary schools that have signed up for the Crime Stoppers Scholastic programme making you now one of the Fiji Police Force’s closest allies.

I request for your indulgence this morning due to the fact that we are a day away from the official World Suicide Prevention Day, and I think it is only fitting that I also talk to you about some concerns we have regarding the issue of suicide and attempted suicide in our beloved nation.



As the head of the Eastern Division our area of policing is quite extensive as it also covers the maritime islands of the Lomaiviti group. You can imagine the number of people that we have to look after and this is why the Commissioner of Police continues to emphasise the importance of working together with members of the community through the Duavata Community Policing initiative. Today by agreeing to the scholastic programme you are also accepting the Commissioner’s invitation to work together under the Duavata Community umbrella and this is something you should all be proud of.

I know there might be some perceptions about the programme and because you will be reporting any form of wrongdoings or criminal activity this may be viewed negatively by your friends.

As a saying goes, quote, “The truth is that you always know the right thing to do, the hard part is doing it” end of quote.

This is expected, because life is such that we are mindful of being liked and what others say about us. Don’t worry about any of that because the Scholastic Programme is designed as such that you can report any crime anonymously.

I’ll give you a brief example of how a student helped Police solve a major case in the Western Division through the Scholastic Programme. The case had gained national attention and while we thought all avenues were exhausted, a student liaised with our team at Crime Stoppers and gave us information that eventually led to us tracking down the accused and he is now facing time in jail for a case of murder.

This is the extent this programme can assist both you and us detect crime and bring those responsible to justice. Don’t ever think that your role is insignificant, because the information you have could be that missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle.

By right schools should be a safe place for students to live, learn, enjoy, harmonise and strive for excellence. It must not be a place for fear, crime and deception. Sadly influences have changed this norm to a certain degree that makes our schools seem unsafe. The life and future of any country such as Fiji will be at stake if we turn a blind eye.

Criminal elements, illegal activities, misconduct, bullying, vandalism and violence are issues of great concern to teachers, parents and students nowadays.

Students were at times victims of crimes away from home and this includes along the way to school, at school premises or during school sponsored events such as field trips or sporting trips.

That is why we need to get the students like you to take an active role in reporting crime, ill conduct and nuisance in order to protect each other and also the school premises and reputation.



Please allow me to turn to the issue of suicide and attempted suicide an issue that your Fiji Police Force is concerned about. According to the World Health Organisation, suicide occurs all over the world and can take place at almost any age. Globally, suicide rates are highest in people aged 70 years and over. In some countries, however, the highest rates are found among the young.

Notably, suicide is the second leading cause of death in 15-29 year-olds globally.

In Fiji’s case it is rather unfortunate that up till the month of August 6 children under the age of 16 had made the unfortunate decision to take their own life while 9 children in the same age group had attempted to take their own life.

Further analysis shows the reasons behind these reports were due to either social problems such as relationship issues to being disciplined by parents and guardians.

Students, as a father, let me assure you that the discipline we enforce on our children is being done for your own good.

We have gone through the life you’re now living. So if we lecture you about something, don’t take it the wrong way to say that we don’t love you, but know that we care about you and that’s why we are doing that.

Life often throws us challenges and we are put in situations that make us feel vulnerable and depressed. Particularly for those in your age bracket you’re in what is deemed the experimental stages of your life.

When confronted with these situations for the first time, you may feel that you have no one to turn to when things go wrong, but let me assure you, that there is always someone who is willing to listen and help out.

The Fijian Government has also set up many programmes and avenues that can help you deal with your problems. If it’s academic in nature, please be assured that there are other opportunities available and anything is possible but you must never ever give up.

Your parents, relatives and teachers have gone through what some of you may be going through now, so do not ever think that suicide is the only option available to escape from emotional pain.

If you ever find yourself in a situation that you feel there is no way out remember this quote, “Place your hand over your heart, can you feel it? That is called purpose. You’re alive for a reason so don’t ever give up.” end of quote



The head teacher, teachers, management, students, ladies and gentlemen, there is a lot that I want to say and I can honestly go on longer because the two issues I’ve spoken about today are extremely crucial areas of policing for us.

However at the end of the day, it is up to you as an individual whether you want to listen and do the right thing.

Thank you also for allowing me to talk about the issue of suicide ahead of the official World Suicide Prevention Day.

The Fiji Police Force can only do so much, and we really need your assistance and this first step of becoming a part of the Scholastic Programme is indeed wonderful and I look forward to hearing good things emanate from Vunimono High School.

It is indeed my pleasure to officially declare Vunimono High School an official member of the Crime Stoppers Scholastic Programme.

Vinaka Vakalevu, Sukria, Bahoot Dhanyavaad and Thank you.



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