Police escort on offer, as Deans committee beefs up security

Teams travelling to Churchill Park in Lautoka for the 2022 Deans finals on Saturday can request police escort to and from the games venue as the Fiji Secondary Schools Rugby Union games committee steps up security measures after the stoning incident last weekend, FSSRU media coordinator Biu Colati says.

Two buses carrying students and families of Suva Grammar School and Marist Brother High School returning to Suva from the Deans semifinals that was held at the Prince Charles Park in Nadi last Saturday were stoned in two separate incidents, a behaviour that the FSSRU has strongly condemned.

Mr Colati said there would be a heavy police presence at the games venue on game day as well as along the highway for the protection of the people travelling to and from Lautoka this Saturday.

“We are not taking this lightly,” Mr Colati said. “Such behaviour will not be tolerated. Those engaging in such behaviour will not escape the hands of the law. “

“We have a police rep in our games committee who has assured us of their support. Police escorts will be provided to teams if they want. We are also encouraging the teams and the people who will be travelling to avoid making the trip at night, but if this cannot be avoided, then they will need to let us know.”

Prior to game day, the games committee will convene a briefing with the team managers during which they are encouraged to raise their concerns.

“Police presence on game day will be seen and felt as well.”

Police Commissioner Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho confirms that Assistant Commissioner of Police Abdul Khan has put together a traffic management plan which includes escorting packages for participating teams.

“Operations will be boosted this weekend and reiterate the warning that unruly behaviour will not be condoned,” Mr Qiliho said.

“We are also calling on parents, guardians and teachers to be mindful of their children’s behaviour and activities to and from the tournament venue and be considerate of other members of the public.”

Happening this Saturday is the Deans finals featuring the top two teams from the U14 to U19 grades, including the main match in the U18 grade between Marist Brothers High School and Suva Grammar School to determine the new champs of the Deans trophy.

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