5 May 2003

Soaring violent crime problem revealed in Fiji

4:18 pm on 5 May 2003

Fiji's parliament has been told that there were 3-thousand cases of robbery with violence reported in the country in the four-year period from 1999 to 2002.

Radio Fiji reports the figure was disclosed by the attorney-general, Qoroniasi Bale, who said the robbers are becoming more and more daring.

"The robbers invariably use weapons, such as cane knives, metal rods, sticks, and once or twice guns to threaten violence or apply force,.... the robbers have become more and more daring as demonstrated by the frequency with which these offences have been committed."

Mr Bale said only about 30 percent of the cases of robbery with violence were solved.

The total value of property and cash taken was about three million US dollars, but only 313-thousand dollars or about eleven percent was recovered.

Mr Bale said in December last year and January this year, an additional 40 cases of robbery with violence involving weapons were reported.