Crime soars for April, fourteen officers charged

May 23, 2024 12:20 pm

[File Photo]

Fourteen police officers were charged with various offences such as assault, theft, unlawful possession of illicit drugs, damaging property, and conspiracy to defeat justice last month.

The Fiji Police noted that for the month of April, overall crime had increased by 73 percent, while serious crime also increased by 65 percent when compared to the same period in April 2023.

Crimes against women also increased by 15 percent, while crimes against children recorded an increase of five percent.

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The number of illicit drugs recorded increased by 32 percent as arrests for drug-related offences continued throughout the five policing divisions.

When compared to March this year, overall crime increased by 17 percent, while serious crime increased by 2 percent.

Acting Commissioner of Police Juki Fong Chew says making the comparison to the previous month represents the reality of the crime situation in our communities.

There were 778 reports of theft in April compared to 482 in March, and a contributing factor to the increase was a case of theft in the Eastern Division, where the accused was charged with 295 counts.

Juki Fong Chew says that policing challenges vary from the high attrition rate to the evolving criminal landscape.

The Acting Commissioner says that the Fiji Police Force has nothing to hide and that they are aware that high figures will be used as a narrative to say that the crime situation is out of control.

The police force wants to restore the blue culture of policing and be fair and transparent in handling all cases against police officers.

The Acting Commissioner assures members of the public that officers will be held accountable for their actions, a message cascaded down to all officers.

The Acting Commissioner added that through community policing efforts, a shift had been noted in the acceptance that police cannot fight crime alone.

Fong Chew says that there is a need to address the main drivers of crime, be they emotional or economic, as these are contributing factors to crime”.

The Acting Commissioner says that the complexities of crime are many, that identifying root causes remains their primary focus, and that the solution to these crimes lies within our communities.