Fiji Police Force faces scrutiny in parliament

March 13, 2024 4:30 pm

[File Photo]

The Fiji Police Force faced intense scrutiny in Parliament today as parties argued about who is accountable for the issues arising within the force.

Minister for Home Affairs, Pio Tikoduadua, holds himself accountable for the current law and order situation, stating that much of it has been inherited from past decisions.

Speaking on the issue of Police and Crime, the Home Affairs Minister says that if FijiFirst wants to claim credit for the positive outcomes of their actions, they must also take responsibility for the negative consequences.

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“The fruits of these seeds are what we are contending with today— Drugs, Police Brutality, Unprofessionalism and inefficient administrative process. All of these are now my responsibility and I have to deal with it. It will not change overnight. But, I assure you this house it WILL change.”

Meanwhile, Opposition MP Viliame Naupoto asserts a growing lack of confidence in the Police Force, suggesting there is a systemic issue that needs addressing.

Naupoto expresses concern about recent incidents of alleged drug tampering by officers, stating that it undermines public confidence in the force.

“If there is a rot it needs to be fixed quickly because to successfully smuggle high-value contraband like hard drugs into a country a secret segment of the society is created and when enforcement officers become part of that secret segment of the society the problem is almost impossible to crush.”

Minister Tikoduadua emphasized the “Restore Blue Concept,” which aims to instil a sense of responsibility among officers in maintaining law and order.

This innovative approach is aimed at embedding human rights at the heart of our policing efforts. It’s about ensuring that every action taken by our police officers aligns with international human rights standards, ensuring that the rights and dignity of every individual and community are respected and protected.”

Tikoduadua states that embracing the Restore Blue Concept signifies a dedication to transforming the police force, integrating human rights principles into every aspect of police work, from daily operations to the fundamental values guiding our officers.