6 May 2003

Fiji government wants to increase sentences for robbery

6:22 am on 6 May 2003

The Fiji government says it is embarrassed by the incidence of crimes such as robbery with violence and sexual offences.

The attorney general, Qoroniasi Bale, made the admission in parliament when tabling a bill to increase penalties for these offences.

Such offences have been attracting increasing concern and have enraged the business sector and foreign investors.

Mr Bale says it cannot be denied that there has been an undesirable increase in these offences and the government is determined to take action.

The bill seeks to give powers to the courts to impose harsher sentences to deter such crimes.

In most cases, the current penalties for robbery with violence and a range if sexual offences have been doubled or increased even more.