Minister for Defence and National Security, Inia Seruiratu has pleaded with all Fijians to support the work of the Fiji Police Force, and stop the unwarranted attacks on the officers who are working tirelessly to keep our communities safe.
Seruiratu says the attacks on Police officers need to be condemned by all, but unfortunately those who are the most vocal to criticize the Fiji Police Force have been the quietest, sadly even following the death of a young officer who in his eagerness to apprehend a suspect of crime, paid the ultimate price for his sacrifice.
He has asked people to not be swayed and influenced by the utterances of a few who are intent on focusing on the negative which are limited, rather than the positives which can be seen every day throughout Fiji.
The Minister says the positives being a police officer include braving the elements to conduct early morning traffic so we can all get to work and school on time, to the officer who sat next to a man who was heavily intoxicated after a night out in town so that no one could rob him of his belongings, to the officers serving our maritime islands and remote posts and stations, and the thousands who put in the extra hours even after they have finished off for the day just to help out in situations that needed more manpower.
He adds that is the reality of policing which goes unnoticed, and he hopes that those who have the powers to influence opinions will help focus on these positives and rally to gain support for the work carried out by members of the Fiji Police Force, and join them in condemning the recent attacks as lives have been lost and thousands more are at stake.
The Minister says we need to be supporting the work of our Police officers because fighting crime can only be effectively done, if we work together.
Seruiratu says many have forgotten the important work conducted by the thousands of Police officers all over Fiji, because of concerted campaigns by a few to dwell on the very few officers who had derailed from the course of their duties and their failure to uphold the law.
He says these officers have either been removed from the institution or are facing the consequences of their unlawful actions in the court of law, or are paying the price of their disobedience behind bars.
Seruiratu adds the zero tolerance policy against officers abusing their powers and breaching the law enforced by the Commissioner of Police is known publicly, and despite the reassurances made by the head of the institution, it is unfortunate that there are certain elements of society who make it a point to deliberately incite hatred towards the entire institution.
He further says the threats and dangers Police officers face during the execution of their duties on a daily basis are real.
Seruiratu adds as a nation we realised just how real this threat is after learning of the tragic death of the late Police Constable Siuta Niumataiwalu.
Seruiratu says let us not be caught up in the negative rhetoric about the actions of a few, because this has no real bearing or reflection on what is happening on the ground.
Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations