9 Aug 2003

Armed robbers in Suva get away with 34 thousand US dollars

7:50 am on 9 August 2003

Knife-wielding robbers have struck again in Fiji just as the new police commissioner, Andrew Hughes, was announcing a major crackdown aimed at reducing such attacks.

One police officer was left seriously injured as the five robbers fled with a 34 thousand US dollar payroll near Suva yesterday.

In his first major operational plan since taking office three weeks ago, Mr Hughes said he was diverting police resources to fight violent crime because people are being held hostage behind bars in their own homes by a small group of thugs.

Mr Hughes said the aim of Operation Strikeback was to reduce violent robberies by 30 per cent and increase the detection rate from the current 25 per cent to 50 per cent by the end of the year.