Minister for Defence and National Security Inia Seruiratu is pleading with all Fijians to support the work of the Fiji Police Force, and stop the unwarranted attacks on the officers who are working tirelessly to keep our communities safe.
In a statement released yesterday evening, Seruiratu says many have forgotten the important work conducted by the thousands of police officers all over Fiji, because of concerted campaigns by a few to dwell on the very few officers who had derailed from the course of their duties and their failure to uphold the law.
“These officers have either been removed from the institution or are facing the consequences of their unlawful actions in a court of law, or are paying the price of their disobedience behind bars.”
The zero-tolerance policy against officers abusing their powers and breaching the law enforced by the Commissioner of Police is known publicly, and despite the reassurances made by the head of the institution, it is unfortunate that there are certain elements of society who make it a point to deliberately incite hatred towards the entire institution.
“The threats and dangers Police officers face during the execution of their duties on a daily basis are real.”
He added as a nation, we realised just how real this threat is after learning of the tragic death of the late Police Constable Siuta Niumataiwalu.
“After receiving official word of the recent attacks in Cunningham, Levuka and the latest in Nausori yesterday, I am urging community leaders to help and support members of the Fiji Police Force serving in your communities.
Let us not be caught up in the negative rhetoric about the actions of a few, because this has no real bearing or reflection on what is happening on the ground.”
Seruiratu said the attacks on Police officers need to be condemned by all, but unfortunately, those who are the most vocal to criticize the Fiji Police Force have been the quietest, sadly even following the death of a young officer who in his eagerness to apprehend a suspect of a crime, paid the ultimate price for his sacrifice.
“Do not be swayed and influenced by the utterances of a few who are intent on focusing on the negative which are limited, rather than the positives which can be seen every day throughout Fiji.”
“The positives being a police officer braving the elements to conduct early morning traffic so we can all get to work and school on time, to the officer who sat next to a man who was heavily intoxicated after a night out in town so that no one could rob him of his belongings, to the officers serving our maritime islands and remote posts and stations, and the thousands who put in the extra hours even after they have finished off for the day just to help out in situations that needed more manpower.”
He adds Fijians need to be supporting the work of our Police officers because fighting crime can only be effectively done if we work together.