We Must Help Po­lice Pro­tect And Keep Us Safe and Well

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

Last month’s se­ri­ous crime sta­tis­tics showed a sig­nif­i­cant de­crease of 48 per cent com­pared to the same pe­riod last year. This hap­pened dur­ing the lock­down and cur­few. It can also be at­trib­uted to in­creased Po­lice vig­i­lance. The cur­few and lock­down re­stricted move­ments and travel and de­terred the crim­i­nal el­e­ments to strike.

The Po­lice say se­ri­ous crime in­cludes rape, at­tempted rape, de­file­ment, mur­der, ag­gra­vated rob­bery, bur­glary, ar­son and theft of mo­tor ve­hi­cle. There were 146 cases re­ported in com­par­i­son to 282 for the 2019 pe­riod.

Other pos­i­tive fea­tures in­clude the drop in crime against women and chil­dren and a de­crease in road fa­tal­i­ties.

Crime against women was down by 13 per cent. There were 217 re­ports while there were 250 cases in 2019. 28 per cent or 61 cases were do­mes­tic vi­o­lence re­lated.

Crime against chil­dren also de­clined by 51 per cent. - 45 cases were re­ported com­pared to 92 for the same pe­riod last year.

The road death toll de­creased by 50 per cent. Over­all, Po­lice say, crime sta­tis­tics for the month of April saw an over­all in­crease in crime by 51 per cent in com­par­i­son to the same pe­riod in 2019.

There were 2176 cases recorded in 2020 com­pared to 1440 in 2019 and this was largely due to the high num­ber of fail­ure to com­ply with or­ders ar­rests linked to COVID-19 breaches.

While we have ex­pressed our dis­dain about the breaches, high­light­ing their se­ri­ous im­pli­ca­tions on our health and safety, we are heart­ened by the drop in se­ri­ous crime.

Be­fore we jump to any con­clu­sion we need to look at the sit­u­a­tion ob­jec­tively. We must ac­cept that the COVID-19 re­stric­tions have con­trib­uted in a ma­jor way in the drop in se­ri­ous crime. At the same time they have ex­posed what ap­pears to be an in­her­ent weak­ness.

It ex­ists in a mi­nor­ity group.

Those who be­long to it are set in their ways and take a lack­adaisi­cal view about life and change like cur­few and lock­down. It’s an at­ti­tude thing and should not be mis­taken with cul­ture.

Those who up­hold their cul­tural val­ues will com­ply with the law and re­spect au­thor­ity.

Those who don’t, have con­trib­uted to the rise in over­all crime.

Po­lice must be com­mended for their con­tin­ued op­er­a­tions to stamp out the il­licit Drug trade.

As a re­sult the num­ber of drug cases reg­is­tered jumped by 200 per cent com­pared to the same pe­riod last year.

As they fight crime, Po­lice need our help to keep us and our fam­i­lies safe from those that bring harm to us.

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