THE Fiji Police Force will no longer wait 24 hours before launching a search for missing people. They will instead launch searches as soon as reports are made.
This was announced by Police Commissioner Brigadier General Naivalurua yesterday.
In the past, a person would have to be missing for 24 hours before an investigation was launched. However the new policy will see all missing person cases investigated upon report.
"Our old policy was we do not respond until after 24 hours."
"So therefore henceforth from here I've directed from last week all missing persons are to be attended to immediately on receipt of report," he said
Brig-Gen Naivalurua told the officers he had made this decision after receiving a call from a man in Tavua who had to endure a 24-hour wait to file a missing persons report for his wife and three children.
"I called director operations and told him sort this out immediately, guess what happened, within 20 minutes the family was located in Lautoka."
He told the officers that they would be held responsible if something had happened to the family.
"My question to you is what if this family had disappeared and were found dead somewhere. You and I have no legs to stand on," he told officers.
He said the force would establish a missing persons cell within all divisions and at their headquarters to better monitor missing persons cases.