Opinion

Delaibatiki’s Say: Tudravu is absolutely right when he says Police are called to serve, not be served

This is an edited version of Nemani Delaibatiki’s My Say in the 4 The Record FBC TV programme last night. Acting Commissioner of Police Rusiate Tudravu did not mince his
25 Jun 2018 14:07
Delaibatiki’s Say: Tudravu is absolutely right when he says  Police are called to serve, not be served
Acting Commissioner of Police Rusiate Tudravu.
  • This is an edited version of Nemani Delaibatiki’s My Say in the 4 The Record FBC TV programme last night.

Acting Commissioner of Police Rusiate Tudravu did not mince his words when he spoke to new Police recruits last week.

He said when men and women joined the force they should hang their social and traditional status at the gate before they entered the force. He said they should leave behind their Ratu and Adi titles and enter to serve.

Policemen and Policewomen are called to serve, not be served. ACP Tudravu is absolutely right.

As keepers of law and order in this country, they have to be impartial, apolitical and possess absolute integrity. The maintenance of law and order is the backbone of the rule of law, a cornerstone of our democracy.

There should be no confusion about the duties and responsibilities of a Police officer. They are spelt out in their job description, and complete loyalty to the force and its high ethical standards are demanded.

Those who fall short of these standards usually find out that the force is not for them.

Unfortunately, some inappropriately and allegedly use their position of authority and power for pecuniary gain and to solicit favours. They get charged and end up in court.

While they may be regarded as public officers because they serve and protect the public, they belong to a very special group.

Their conduct and performance go a long way towards creating the environment that provides people with confidence to live their normal lives.

No one should live in fear in Fiji if they know that the Police are watching and protecting them. Crimes may never be totally wiped out from any society.

And that’s why we need an efficient Police force. It’s hard to find a perfect society. Many say there is no perfect society. If there was we would not need the Police. The reality is that we live in an imperfect society and we are going to deal with crime from time to time.

What is crucial though is that we need a good Police force that plays by the book and carries out its duties diligently to ensure that people uphold the law.

When people break the law, the Police are entrusted with the responsibility to bring the alleged offenders to face the justice system. The Police are also governed by rules of engagement when arresting suspects. In the past there have been cases when Police officers have been brought to court and found guilty of breaching the law.

Police Commissioner Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho has already said that there is zero tolerance on bad cops.

Maintaining a clean image is therefore a constant challenge for the force. ACP Tudravu was obviously thinking about this when he spoke to the recruits.

With ongoing training on human rights and other issues pertaining to the behaviour and attitude of Police officers, there appears to be a noticeable improvement in the general conduct of our law enforcement officers. Discipline is obviously a big item in the books of the current Police leadership. ACP Tudravu stressed this again to the recruits. There was no ambiguity in his speech. There is no place for lazy or bad cops.

Response times

At one time we constantly heard that Police could not effectively carry out their work because of a lack of Police vehicles. Now they have vehicles they have never had before.

They have had a significants increase in their vehicle fleet. That should improve their mobility in a big way. Logically, it should improve the turnaround time in responding to a complaint or report. Public perception about Police is usually based on its response to reports or complaints.

While we have high expectations for Police to combat crime, there are certain things that we can do to help the Police prevent crime. We can ensure that all our property is secured when we are away.

We must report unusual activity in our neighbourhood if they look or sound suspicious.

Last but not least, we should be ready to assist the Police in their investigations. Fighting crime is a partnership between the Police and the public.

Remember, the Police are not super heroes. They are humans just like us and can become vulnerable at times because of human frailties.

Constant reminders like the one given by ACP Tudravu and co-operation from the public can make their jobs a lot easier.

Feedback:  nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

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