31 May 2004

Fiji police considers demerit system for offending officers

3:15 pm on 31 May 2004

Fiji's police commissioner has introduced a demerit points system in a bid to crackdown on rampant disciplinary problems in the force.

The Fiji Times quotes Andrew Hughes as saying points would be registered against officers for disciplinary offences and once they accumulate a total of 50, they would have to show cause why they should not be dismissed.

Offences have been graded with serious ones carrying up to 20 demerit points.

Mr Hughes says the force has 4,000 officers and it is difficult to monitor them on a daily basis, but under the demerit system he would be able to keep a tab on them.

Discipline within the force started to deteriorate after the 1987 Rabuka coups with many officers jailed, sacked or suspended for committing almost all the offences listed in Fiji's Penal Code.

After the May 2000 coup it was found that many special constables recruited by former commissioner had serious criminal convictions while Col Savua himself remains under investigation for alleged his involvement in plotting the coup.