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Editorial: Attacks on Police Must be Condemned in Strongest Possible Terms

A Police officer’s job is a thankless one. And often they get little or no appreciation for the work they do in protecting the public. It is disturbing then to
16 Jan 2018 15:09
Editorial: Attacks on Police Must be Condemned in Strongest Possible Terms

A Police officer’s job is a thankless one.

And often they get little or no appreciation for the work they do in protecting the public.

It is disturbing then to learn that some Police officers in Kadavu were stoned by three men allegedly linked to the marijuana trade.

Other Police officers were assaulted on Viti Levu in a number of incidents.

That is unacceptable and must be condemned in the strongest possible terms.

The incidents show how vulnerable our law enforcers are to people who will resort to anything to protect their illegal activities.

The attack by people associated with an alleged drug farm on Kadavu was not the first as Police officers had come under numerous attacks in the past from these who make a living from cultivating drugs.

To these culprits, the uniform does not mean a thing to them and it was fortunate that no officer was hit and injured. It could have resulted in serious injury or even death.

People are quick to blame and curse them when they don’t attend their calls. And when they apprehend suspects who get injured in the process, they are accused of brutality.

But when they are injured we don’t hear the same noise. They usually apply self defence in tricky situations by using reasonable force where they have to deal with violent suspects or fugitives.

Stakes are high in these high-risk operations like the one in Kadavu. It’s a case of do and be damned and don’t and be damned.

While the majority of Fiji sleeps, these officers are on the beat, in patrol cars, foot patrol or even standing in a swamp all night to flush out an escapee, as they did to Deshwar Kishore Dutt.

They did not receive any applause for doing this and there are many who would say – “well that’s what they are being paid to do.”

They encounter situations where the faint hearted would not dare to tread.

When a subject resists arrest, the extent of the resistance might be passive, or the offender might resist by assaulting or in this case by stoning the officers.

In extreme circumstances the encounter might end in tragedy. Many Police officers here and abroad have died in the line of duty.

The uniform they put on may put them in harm’s way.

Police officers and their families share a commitment to something larger than themselves.

Let us not unfairly criticise them, but think of the difficult conditions they work in to keep all of us safe.

Let us support them in the fight against crime. In the war against illegal drugs, they want the vanua to assist them.

We should all help them if we want  to enjoy security and peace.

CHARLES CHAMBERS

Feedback: charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj



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