Fi­jians hosts en­force­ment poli­cies for Pa­cific Po­lice

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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.

Photo: Po­lice Me­dia Cell

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Fiji, Van­u­atu, Tonga, Samoa, Kiri­bati and Tu­valu at the Pa­cific Po­lice Pol­icy Net­work (3PN) Fo­rum at the Shangri la Re­sort in Si­ga­toka.

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