Fiji Crime Rate Drops 15%, But Police Chief Urges Greater Trust in Policing

Fiji’s overall crime rate dropped by 15 percent in July, but it appears the stats have done little to convince the acting head of police.

In July, serious crimes dropped by 22 percent, crimes against women down by 24%, and crimes against children by 19%, but there was an increase in the number of illicit drug cases, up by 26%, and a 75% detection rate.

While commending the drop in overall crime, Acting Commissioner of Police Juki Fong Chew said there is still an element of lack of faith and trust in policing processes.

This he says stems from the failure to comply with the basics of policing, challenging his senior command group comprising directors and divisional police commanders to address “the shortfalls in service delivery.”

Chew said strict monitoring of the adherence to internal systems and processes will assist in restoring confidence in policing and restoring the Blue Culture. The second half of the year, he adds is always demanding and challenging on policing operations, and hopes that the current momentum of support from members of the public, Government, stakeholders, and law enforcement partners will continue till the end of 2023.

Chew also noted and expressed gratitude for discussions on these issues that are taking place beyond policing circles, at the Government, civil society, religious, and various stakeholder levels, resulting in the increased sharing of information, and the high number of raids and successful arrests.

The Northern, Eastern, Western, and Central Divisions recorded increases in the number of drug cases registered, as the focus during the month of July has been on the users, suppliers, and cultivators.

Crimes against women and children continue to be of concern as the statistics show that the perpetrators are mostly male family members committing crimes against their own.

Chew says with Police at the receiving end of the reports, concerted proactive efforts are being pursued through Duavata Community Policing, to address the causes of the heinous crimes, occurring within the comforts of one’s home, and an environment that is supposed to be a safe place for the victims.

ACP Chew said the root causes are social and moral issues and community policing officers are working closely with religious and civil society groups, to curb the attacks on women and children.

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