24 Jan 2005

Fiji police hopeful government will agree to lift funding

7:55 pm on 24 January 2005

Fiji police say they hope their latest plea for more government funding will finally bring a result.

Police commissioner Andrew Hughes says the police's inability to cope with the recent surge in high profile crimes has forced the government to review the police budget.

The Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase, has set up a national security council committee to look at the currrent 35 million US dollar budget.

Mr Hughes says he's prepared a report for the committee showing that police need an additional 10 million US dollars a year to function properly.

But he would not be drawn on how confident he is of success.

"I really can't comment on that. I hope there's some substance to it and its not just another meeting and another committee and nothing happens. I really do hope that we do get something out of this."

Mr Hughes says the committee, chaired by Mr Qarase, is meeting this week to discuss the matter.