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Give Police The Right Tools To Fight Serious Crime

We must give our Police Force the right tools and support to fight serious crime. The call by the Police Commissioner Police Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho to use a specialist armed
14 Oct 2016 11:00
Give Police The Right Tools To Fight Serious Crime
Editorial

We must give our Police Force the right tools and support to fight serious crime.

The call by the Police Commissioner Police Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho to use a specialist armed unit is merely a response to our reality.

For there has been a noted shift in the way hardcore criminals operate. There are more violent migratory criminals from Suva who commit crimes in the West and return to Suva.

They include masked men, armed with knives and crowbars. They use intimidation, they strike fear and they are increasingly dangerous.

More and more innocent lives are being threatened with the use of force.

This has become a concern for the Police who are only armed with help like pepper spray and batons. Obviously, they are ill-equipped to take on people with axes or knives and maybe next guns.

Some are calling for a more logical approach – provide people with employment and they will have no need to be entangled in serious crimes. This could be an answer, but it is not the only one.

If we are serious about arming our Police with appropriate tools, there are international rules and regulations that Fiji will need to follow. This was highlighted in the Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials adopted at the 8th United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders.

One of the general provisions included: “Governments and law enforcement agencies should develop a range of means as broad as possible and equip law enforcement officials with various types of weapons and ammunition that would allow for a differentiated use of force and firearms.

These should include the development of non-lethal incapacitating weapons for use in appropriate situations, with a view to increasingly restraining the application of means capable of causing death or injury to persons.

“For the same purpose, it should also be possible for law enforcement officials to be equipped with self-defensive equipment such as shields, helmets, bullet-proof vests and bullet-proof means of transportation, in order to decrease the need to use weapons of any kind.”

The people in our communities are fed up with criminals terrorising, threatening and robbing them.

The hardcore criminal elements are becoming bolder, as they were before the 2006 takeover. After 2006 they were scared of the Republic of the Fiji Military Forces personnel.

But now, with the military no longer involved in regular policing, they have become emboldened. The risks from this are becoming greater.

It’s time to put a stop to their cowardly acts of violence before this gets out of control. Even if it means equipping specialists in our Police Force with arms.

Feedback:  rosi.doviverata@fijisun.com.fj

 



Five Square


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