Crime & Court

‘How To Make A Citizen’s Arrest’

“You can arrest, bring them to a Police station or Police officer, that is the citizen’s power you have,” Mr Tudravu responded.
29 Jan 2021 15:32
‘How To Make A Citizen’s Arrest’
Acting Commissioner of Police Rusiate Tudravu (left), and Minister for Defence Inia Seruiratu (getting temperature checked), at the Fiji Police Force National Community Policing Symposium at the Pearl Resort in Pacific Harbour on January 28, 2021. Photo: Police Media Cell

People can make a citizen’s arrest if the offence is committed in your presence says Acting Commissioner of Police Rusiate Tudravu.

The Police chief was responding to concerns raised during the Fiji Police Community Policing Symposium.

National Fire Authority chief executive officer Puamau Sowane had raised an issue about a known drug dealer in his community in Nadera.

Mr Sowane said in Nadera an individual had been known to be selling drugs mainly marijuana from his home for more than a decade.

He said the Nadera Community Police Post was just metres away and despite calls to the Police, the individual remained in the area and had continued with the alleged crime.

“You can arrest, bring them to a Police station or Police officer, that is the citizen’s power you have,” Mr Tudravu responded.

“The offence has to be committed in your presence. For drugs we only charge people if the drugs are in possession. We can raid a house several times, but cannot make any arrests if no drugs have been found.

“He can be seen selling drugs, but when the arrest is made, he has to have the drugs in possession. We cannot charge people for planting marijuana without them being identified as the planters of marijuana.

“That is why we just pull it and take it to the Police station.”

Mr Tudravu said Police need to take people to the court.

He said Police also did not have the power to remove people from communities as people had the right to stay there.

He added in locations where such crimes were happening in premises belonging to the Housing Authority and the Public Rental Board, Police had started talks on using their policies for the removal of such people from the community.

Edited By Caroline Ratucadra

Feedback: shalveen.chand@fijisun.com.fj



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