30 Mar 2004

Fiji's police commissioner calls for government review of his post

3:59 pm on 30 March 2004

Fiji's police commissioner, Andrew Hughes, is denying local media reports that he's been strongly critical of the government.

Mr Hughes says the government is doing the best it can with the budget that it has but he says there are overly bureaucratic processes that he finds constraining.

And, for this reason he is calling for a review of the way his post operates.

Mr Hughes also says the police need vehicles and the government plan of privately donated cars, has not worked.

"Where I'm getting frustrated is that we're now a quarter of the way through the year and I haven't realised one vehicle. That scheme is taking a very long time to actually get up and running. And, my needs for vehicles are absolutely critical. I've visited a police station at a place called Seqaqa - they have one vehicle which is 12 years old, a Daihatsu Rocky which has nearly 400,000 kilometres on it, that is simply, completely not roadworthy."

Mr Hughes says a government committee has been formed to address the issue and they met for the first time last week.

The police want 83 new vehicles.

The commissioner says a proposal for a review of his post should be with government within the next couple of weeks.