NEWS

Things To Lookout For During This Weekend’s New Year Street Party

Street parties have become a part of New Year’s tradition in Fiji. The party plays host to thousands of people who converge on the streets of towns and cities in
30 Dec 2017 13:35
Things To Lookout For During This Weekend’s  New Year Street Party
Street party 2017 at Albert Park.

Street parties have become a part of New Year’s tradition in Fiji.

The party plays host to thousands of people who converge on the streets of towns and cities in a collective cheer, not only celebrate the end of a year, but also welcome a new one.

Locations for parties this year are Suva, Nadi, Ba, Seaqaqa and Sigatoka. These are some of most densely populated areas in the country thus presenting themselves as ideal locations.

A gathering of such magnitude carries security risks and presents an enormous challenge for the Fiji Police Force.

Last year, Assistant Commissioner of Police Rusiate Tudravu led the patrols in Suva, an indication of how seriously Police view the security situation.

After speaking to partygoers and Police alike, the Fiji Sun has compiled a list of offences common to street parties around the country:

Petty Crimes:

“We do continue to receive reports of petty crimes,” said Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro earlier this month.

“The most common being pick-pocketing in the Suva area and our current Operation Yadrayadravi (Watch) is focusing on both the major serious crimes and petty crimes and we have arrested a number of youth and adults who have committed such offences.”

Police continue to point to a new trend of crime in which criminals pounce on an opportunity: Pick-pocketing, ‘grab and runs,’ vehicle break-ins and unattended belongings fall under this category.

Police Commissioner Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho also urged the public to take extra care after investigations revealed criminals were closely monitoring their targets.

Alcohol and Drug Related Crimes: Drink-driving has become a major concern for Police in recent months. A crackdown on drivers has ensued but Brigadier-General Qiliho continues to put his faith on the public.

“Christmas is the time to celebrate and enjoy; those who go out and enjoy should drink responsibly,” he told the Fiji Sun this month.

Fiji, with its bustling nightlife, sees large amounts of alcohol consumed on an ordinary weekend. The numbers during New Year’s though go beyond normal levels.

Police will be on alert, not just for drink-driving, but any other alcohol-related incidents that threaten the safety of the public.

The force has already declared a ‘war on drugs.’ With harder drugs like methamphetamine available on our streets, officers have implemented a zero-tolerance policy.

This has led to a 35 per cent increase in drug crime arrests.

Sexual Offences:

Officers will closely monitor crimes of this nature. Many women who attend these parties say offenders see the cover of darkness and the large crowd as an opportunity.

Already measures are in place to deal with such covert crimes. Brigadier-General Qiliho said Police in ‘plain clothes’ would be present in crowded areas this weekend to continue a method that has produced results in the past.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback:  sheldon.chanel@fijisun.com.fj



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