Suspect in Fiji Central Police Station Arson Attempt Has History of Mental Illness: Police

The 33-year-old individual involved in the attempted arson at Fiji’s central police station has a history of mental illness.

Acting Police Commissioner Juki Fong Chew said the 33-year-old from Raiwai is currently receiving medical care and undergoing psychiatric assessment and treatment at Saint Giles Hospital.

“Following his medical clearance, the suspect will be brought back into custody,” Chew said. “Please allow the investigations to take its course, as necessary, and appropriate charges will be determined upon the completion of the investigation.”

He has also urged the public to refrain from sharing the individual’s photo and vilifying him on social media.

Concerns raised about the police response during the incident have also prompted action.

“As I had stated, different situations, require different responses. I want to reassure the public that officers have been reminded that the responses adopted must be aligned to best policing practices.”

To ensure a more effective response in the future, Divisional Police Commanders in the five policing divisions have been tasked with reevaluating their respective response units. All officers under their command will undergo refresher training to enhance their skills and preparedness in handling various situations.

He reiterated that the attack was an isolated incident, however, it has underscored the need to swiftly review their current response practices, “as an attack on any policing institution is an attack on security.”

Authorities said he threw a lit-bottled filled with flammable liquid inside the Totogo Police Station, located in Suva’s CBD, resulting in damage to some equipment. He was apprehended by police as he tried to throw another bottle.

Police’s CID is leading the investigation into the incident.

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