Fiji is fast heading towards a major social crisis and state of ‘lawlessness’ as a result of government’s failure to control increasing violent crimes and robberies both in rural and urban areas throughout Fiji.
Given the rapid increase in serious crimes compounded with failure on the part of police force firstly to respond to the situation at the crime scene together with lack of expertise to track down smart and sophisticated criminals is a yardstick to gauge that law and order situation is beyond government’s control. People are losing confidence in the police as far as their hope for security of lives, property and businesses are concerned.
ASP Romanu Tikotikoca admitted that the Police are handicapped due to dire shortages of resources in terms of vehicles and communication equipments further confirms the status of our police force.
We have seen a disturbing increase in violent crimes, such as robberies by masked and armed criminals from homes, businesses, Banks/ATM machines etc; in the last two years.
More recently the criminals have been using high tech equipments such as mobiles and fast vehicles to outsmart the police. This is helping them plan the attacks and then flee the scene leaving our Police baffled with their derelict vehicles.
The criminals are clearly becoming more sophisticated, daring and dangerous while the police lack capability to deal with them. In the latest attack, thugs reportedly used firearms belonging to RFMF in a very exposed scene (MacDonald’s restaurant)
The theft of $3M “black money” comprising of Fijian and American currency is the single biggest robbery recorded with the police force. The robbery, which is dubbed as a “high tech” job, occurred in January. The burglars used gas torch to cut through the grilled doors to gain entry into a Lautoka liquor outlet and rip open the safe and make away with millions of dollars.
Fiji has been in the limelight recently due to the level of crime especially violent robberies, which is the main reason for the Australian and British Governments giving travel warning to their nationals intending to visit Fiji.
Whilst the Police force needs a total ‘shake-up’, more urgently it requires significant capital input. Government is still considering immediate budgetary allocation of $3 million requested by the force to arrest equip themselves necessary to help them keep up with the criminals of the modern era.