12 Jun 2006

Regional NGO opposed to arming of Fiji police

3:26 pm on 12 June 2006

The Suva-based Pacific Concerns Resource Centre says the arming of a new police unit with guns to protect a small group of elite politicians would not be a success.

A spokesperson for the PCRC, Ema Tagicakibau, says promoting "a culture of guns as the norm for the security of Fiji's leaders is nothing short of government by the gun."

The Daily Post quotes Ms Tagicakibau as saying that the police should direct their scarce resources to deter, detect and solve crime at community level so that the personal security of citizens is secured.

She says the crime rate has increased recently and the police should come up with positive measures to combat crime rather than deploy officers after the crime has been committed.

Ms Tagicakibau warns that around the world where police have been armed, they often abuse their right by using maximum force.

She says the PCRC's major concern is that arming Fiji police would only lead to major insecurity and threats to the public's safety. END