Fijians hosts enforcement policies for Pacific Police
Fiji is playing host to Police officers from around the region who are attending a forum designed to assist in policy matters relating to the enforcement of domestic violence legislations.
Facilitated by the Australian Federal Police (AFP), representatives from Fiji, Vanuatu, Tonga, Samoa, Kiribati and Tuvalu are attending the Pacific Police Policy Network (3PN) Forum at the Shangri la Resort in Sigatoka. In opening the course Commissioner of Police Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho said he was pleased with the theme that focused on Sex and Gender Based Violence and Protection Orders. “I’m extremely pleased with the theme of the Forum which over the next few days focus on Domestic Violence,” BrigadierGeneral Qiliho said.
“For us as law enforcement officers, domestic violence is a crime that is challenging to police as we often find ourselves on the reactive side as the offence often takes place in non-public places such as homes.”
Brigadier-General Qiliho said domestic violence impacted more than just the criminal system and drawing up policies to better enforce respective legislations was vital. “Domestic violence has become a social, economic and health priority, because it not only causes personal suffering, but also reduces productivity,” he said.
He said the Fiji Police continued to face challenges in the implementation of the enforcement which was why internal policies were drawn up. “An example is the No-Drop Policy, whereby none of my officers have the authority to settle any domestic violence report that comes to them. “On the same token, I have also publicly issued my phone contact and will be advertising the numbers of my senior officers so that anyone who is not happy with our services can contact us directly,” he said. “At the end of the day we have to ensure our policies can give victims the confidence to come forward and report, knowing their complaints will be addressed.” Facilitator Shane Robinson who is the team leader Corporate Reform an arm of the Pacific Police Development Programme Regional within the Australian Federal Police International Operations, said the Forum is to help the officers draw up policies which best suits them. “The members themselves will discuss and come up with what is suitable for their country so we are not here to tell them to follow what Australia is doing but rather work with them to come up with policies for the Pacific by the Pacific and share what’s the best way forward.” Mr Robinson said while it was great to see the progress made with regards to domestic violence legislations, the critical element was its successful implementation.
“All policing has various challenges whether its resources or other issues, however it’s a matter of tying in the legislation on what’s written and how we are going to do it,” he said. The Forum ends this Saturday.
Representatives from Fiji, Vanuatu, Tonga, Samoa, Kiribati and Tuvalu at the Pacific Police Policy Network (3PN) Forum at the Shangri la Resort in Sigatoka.