NEWS

Police Officers At Squatter Settlements To Move Out: Qiliho

It is improper for an officer to illegally reside in squatter settlements when they receive full lodging allowance.
21 Oct 2021 11:31
Police Officers At Squatter Settlements To Move Out: Qiliho
Police Commissioner Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Commissioner of Police Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho issued a 30-day notice to all Fiji Police Force personnel to move out of illegal informal settlements if they were residing in one.

He has instructed all Divisional Police Commanders to prepare a report on how many police officers were residing in illegal squatter settlements.

Mr Qiliho was recently made aware of an officer residing in squatter settlement in Labasa through the Fiji Sun’s Between the Lines column, and subsequent investigations by his office revealed that the officer was one of many who receive lodging allowances.

The Police chief said it was improper for an officer of the law to illegally reside in squatter settlements more so when they receive full lodging allowance.

“We pay our officers lodging allowances, and they should use that to rent in proper residences instead of illegally squatting in various settlements,” he said.

“This is improper for them to do this. I have instructed the Divisional Police Commanders to prepare a report on how

many of our officers reside in squatter settlements.

“They will be told to move out. We cannot have our officers engaging in illegal activities.”

Police officers, who do not stay in the barracks, are eligible to apply for lodging allowance which is 20 per cent of the base salary.

The starting salary for a police officer is around $18,000 per year.

The Police Commissioner will know by next week the number of officers living in illegal informal settlements. Mr Qiliho has directed his divisional heads to compile this data.

There are 250 informal settlements in Fiji. Of these, the Government has acquired 43 development leases. According to Ministry of Housing data, 60 per cent of the informal settlements are located on iTaukei land while only four are on state land.

 



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