Pub­lic Co-op­er­a­tion Needed to Help Po­lice Bat­tle Crime

Fiji Sun - - Comment - NE­MANI DE­LAIBATIKI Feed­back: ne­mani.de­laibatiki@fi­jisun.com.fj

Be­fore we rush out to point a fin­ger at the Po­lice about the re­cent spate of rob­beries, we need to look at the is­sue in a proper per­spec­tive. Thieves and rob­bers will strike for mul­ti­ple rea­sons. They are usu­ally un­em­ployed and are des­per­ately look­ing for cash, food and some­thing that gives them that adrenalin rush. They are unpredictable and can hit any where, any time. The vic­tims they tar­get usu­ally have what they are look­ing for.

The re­al­ity is that the Po­lice can­not do it alone. The bat­tle against crime is not the ex­clu­sive do­main of the Po­lice.

It is all our re­spon­si­bil­ity. The fact is the Po­lice can­not be ev­ery where. They just do not have the re­sources to do it. They are usu­ally stretched to the limit when they re­ceive sev­eral re­ports of crime at the same time. Mem­bers of the pub­lic have an equally im­por­tant role to play to keep our com­mu­ni­ties safe. Po­lice need our co-op­er­a­tion and as­sis­tance in pro­vid­ing in­for­ma­tion that will lead to the ar­rest of suspects. In fact many of their ar­rests are done based on pub­lic in­tel­li­gence.

So it is cru­cial that in the wake of the re­cent spate of rob­beries, that we should in­crease our vig­i­lance in the fight against crime. Neigh­bour­hood watch schemes should be res­ur­rected if they had died and the ones that ex­ist need to be strength­ened. We should all be watch­ing out for each other and if we see any sus­pi­cious per­sons or ac­tiv­i­ties in our neigh­bour­hood, we should con­tact the near­est Po­lice sta­tion as soon as pos­si­ble. It is al­ways good to err on the side of cau­tion. It means we are not tak­ing any chances. So the pos­si­bil­i­ties of some­thing hap­pen­ing that is un­palat­able are greatly re­duced. That is the ben­e­fit of the neigh­bour­hood watch scheme.

Our other im­por­tant re­spon­si­bil­ity that high­lights pre­ven­tion is we must do all we can not to tempt crim­i­nals. For ex­am­ple, if you are go­ing away, se­cure your house and let your neigh­bours know how long you are go­ing to be away for. Can­cel your news­pa­per de­liv­ery for that pe­riod and keep your se­cu­rity lights turned on.

For ve­hi­cle owners, if you are not tak­ing your car, maybe park it in your neigh­bour’s yard and at a rel­a­tive’s com­pound.

The car­jack­ing in­ci­dent at Lau­toka taught all ve­hi­cle owners to ei­ther turn off the en­gine and take the key with them or keep the en­gine run­ning with peo­ple inside and all the doors and win­dows closed and locked. Most of these prac­ti­cal tips are just plain com­mon sense. We must sup­port the call by Po­lice Com­mis­sioner, Bri­gadier Si­tiveni Qil­iho, for the Po­lice and the pub­lic to work hand in hand. If we are proac­tive, as Bri­gadier-Gen­eral Qil­iho said, we will give lit­tle or no room for crim­i­nals to strike. If we band to­gether, not only will we make our com­mu­ni­ties safer, the crim­i­nals will soon get the mes­sage that we do not con­done their ac­tiv­i­ties. The ar­rest of more men, sus­pected of being in­volved in the car­jack­ing of a fam­ily ve­hi­cle in Lau­toka last week, has come as a re­lief not only to the vic­tims but to the pub­lic at large. The Po­lice, who of­ten get un­fair crit­i­cisms, must be com­mended for their swift work in this case. It is un­der­stood that the rest will be ar­rested soon. Po­lice must have done it with the help of some mem­bers of the pub­lic.

If this part­ner­ship con­tin­ues to grow, we will see the fugi­tive high­lighted in this news­pa­per, the suspects in the break-ins at a Waila Hindu tem­ple, home in­va­sion suspects in the west and three men who robbed a taxi driver in Na­madi Heights, Ta­mavua, Suva, yes­ter­day, brought to jus­tice soon.

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