13 Feb 2004

Fiji Police Commissioner calls for pay rise for officers

9:09 am on 13 February 2004

Fiji's Police Commissioner has warned that deplorable pay and conditions for members of the force is giving rise to corruption.

Andrew Hughes has told the Fiji Times that the corruption can range from small matters to the recent theft of over 13-thousand US dollars frm the exhibit room at the Central Police Station in Suva.

The money was recovered from armed robbers and was due in court as evidence.

Mr Hughes says his officers are grossly underpaid, with some of them being below the poverty line and living in squalor.

but they have to work long hours under stressful and dangerous conditions and he is asking that police pay be brought in line with other public servants.

Mr Hughes says previous reviews had failed to bring about the necessary changes and he's calling on the government to address the issue this year "as a matter of urgency".