THE Fiji Labour Party office was burgled on Monday, however, party leader Mahendra Chaudhry clarified no valuables were lost in the heist. Mr Chaudhry confirmed yesterday a police report had been filed on the break-in: Source - The Fiji Times, 9 August 2017
It is a shocking revelation that the Police Force has less than 50% of the manpower it needs to maintain law and order in the Western Division, says Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry.
He was referring to statistics revealed by the Divisional Police Commander Western SP Marika Yalimaiwai at a Crime Prevention Committee consultation in Ba this week (FT 4/8).
SP Yalimaiwai said he needed 2043 officers to adequately maintain law and order in the Western Division, but had to make do with only 999 officers.
“No wonder the crime rate in the country is so high. We suspect the situation is similar in the central, northern and eastern divisions. SP Yalimaiwai says the shortage of manpower is putting a strain on police posts forcing them to close down a number of posts,” Mr Chaudhry said.
FLP had expressed concern a few months back at the closure of a number of police posts around the country despite the fact that the crime rate is so high.
Mr Chaudhry expressed concern that people’s safety and security were getting a low priority when it should be the major concern of any government.
“There is no excuse for not providing adequate funds for the manpower requirements of the Police Force. If government can provide a subsidy of $18m for Fiji Airways when it is making good money and $10m for the Natadola International Golf tournament and $11.6m to the Fiji Broadcasting Commission – it should be able to fork out enough money to provide the Police Force with the manpower it needs.
“The maintenance of law and order and people’s security is a prime concern of all our communities. Government must find the money to provide adequate manpower in all the divisions so that the Police can do their job effectively, said Mr Chaudhry.
After all, our top brass in government are giving themselves around the clock security at their homes and wherever they are. The ordinary folks deserve similar protection for their families,” he said.