As we are entering the festive season, the Fiji Police Force has noted an increase in alcohol related reports and we are urging members of the public to be mindful of the need to enjoy themselves responsibly to avoid being caught on the wrong side of the law.
We are making this plea following the alleged assault of a police officer who was on duty last night at the Narere Police Post.
The officer was assisting a taxi driver who called into the Narere Post after midnight as his passenger an army officer who was allegedly heavily intoxicated had refused to pay for his fare. After settling the issue, the taxi driver left the scene while the officer proceeded back to the post when the suspect allegedly pushed him from behind and assaulted him.
The suspect was later arrested at his home and is currently in custody at the Nasinu Police Station.
Past trends show the Festive season has always recorded an increase in alcohol and domestic related cases and we are urging members of the public to be cautious about the consumption of alcohol, as we don’t want anyone to be spending time away from their loved ones due to their failure to control their emotions and end up breaking the law.
Past trends have also shown an increase in petty crimes and theft during the Festive season as opportunists take advantage of the Christmas shopping rush and the excessive indulgence of alcohol where people are often targets of thieves as they cannot look after their own safety and their belongings.
However, Divisional Police Commanders have also been directed to relook at their capabilities and ensure officers on the ground are able to confront situations where their safety could be at risk.
The Commissioner of Police Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho directed the Divisional Police Commanders to be aware of the red zones and beef up manpower where necessary.
“Based on past trends during the Festive season we need to look at our deployment and strategies and also brief officers on what they need to prepare themselves for as we anticipate an increase in alcohol related incidents this festive season”.
Brig-Gen Qiliho has also directed the Police Special Response Unit Training team to revisit the four divisions and conduct refresher trainings on the use of pepper sprays and other standard equipment.
“This is part and parcel of the work we have to face and it won’t be smooth sailing all the time and there will be unexpected situations that we need to learn from and improve on”.
“We will not be caught up in the emotions of what has taken place but take each day at a time and continue to serve our communities in a professional manner and to the best of our abilities”.