29 Jul 2003

Fiji police commissioner gets tough on crime and dishonest policemen

11:26 am on 29 July 2003

Fiji's new police commissioner has promised to crack down hard on sharply rising violent crime, including home invasion and robbery.

Australian national, Andrew Hughes, says he will develop new strategies similar to ones introduced in Australia which have been very successful.

Mr Hughes says he will have zero tolerance for dishonesty and inappropriate behaviour by police officers who will face the sack.

He has also banned the drinking of kava by police officers on duty, saying it will be restricted to ceremonial puposes only and even that only with the approval of an officer of the rank of assistant superintendent or higher.

Mr Hughes says the practice of drinking kava all day at the expense of doing their duty will not be tolerated.

But Mr Hughes has promised to boost the morale of officers by acknowleding good work, rewarding outstanding achievement and turning the force into an efficient and robust organisation.

Public confidence in the police plummeted to an all-time low under former commissioner, Col Isikia Savua, who is still under investigation for his alleged role in the coup.