8 Nov 2004

Fiji Chamber of Commerce warns of increasing lawlessness following police funding allocation

11:25 am on 8 November 2004

The Fiji Chamber of Commerce and Industry has warned that the country could drift into lawlessness as a result of the token increase in the police budget in the 2005 budget.

The Chamber President, Taito Waradi, says unless the government allocates more money to the police, it would be playing into the hands of criminal elements.

Mr Waradi says the success of any economy and civilised society is directly linked to providing police with the necessary tools and resources to carry out its role of maintaining law and order.

He says criminal have targetted every institution that represents law and order in recent times.

Mr Waradi has pointed to attacks and robbery of the police, members of the judiciary, churches and religious institutions, and even a high ranking chief and member of the Great Council of Chiefs.

Earlier, the Police Commissioner expressed deep disappointment, adding that the 870-thousand US dollar increase was not enough to cover the cost of inflation and therefore there was a real decline in their budget.