PROVIDING a free and secure environment has prompted villagers of Wainigadru in Tawake, Cakaudrove, to set up an anti-crime committee.
Village headman Bonefasio Driti said the committee dealt with minor crimes such as breach of village rules.
One such rule prohibits villagers from gossiping and those found guilty are penalised by the committee.
Mr Driti said penalties include weaving certain number of mats, cleaning up the village and planting root crops.
"The penalties and village laws have been part of our lives for many years and we have seen how such boundaries keep the peace among villagers," he said.
"So villagers talk about better things instead of gossiping and men make better use of their time in farming or spending time with their families instead of causing problems."
He said serious cases such as growing marijuana were referred to the police.
"The village crime committee works with the police and whenever a crime is committed in the village, we inform the police and take the culprits to the station," he said.
The plight of children and women are also considered in the village laws.
Children are not allowed by the roadside alone or in groups without adult supervision.
They are banned from swimming alone in the village tobu (pool) or without parental supervision.
Every night at eight, members of the crime committee patrol the village.
"If any child or a group of children is seen in the village after 8pm, we accompany them to their houses and make sure that at least one parent is at home.
"Parents have been reminded not to leave their children alone at home whether in the night or day.
"We are not taking any risk of having our innocent children victimised by other people, not even by our own villagers, and that is why we have disciplinary action for parents," the village headman said.