AS part of the Fiji Police Force's efforts to create a safer environment for women and children in the country, a directive was issued for an increase in women officers.
This was confirmed by the force's spokeswoman, Ana Naisoro, yesterday afternoon.
This will be for all divisions in the country and in all areas of operation.
"This is part of a strategy to fight crimes against women and children which is on the rise. The strategy aims to help women and children feel safe when out in major towns and cities," Ms Naisoro said.
She said women officers would also be deployed for community policing initiatives in the hope that the message of keeping women and children safe remained a key priority.
"It has also been noted that women feel more confident in the presence of women officers," she added.
In a statement released by the Police Force yesterday, it reported that it mainly wanted women to feel safe around them given the rise in sexual offences in the country.
"We are mindful that they might have reservations about their level of security, in particular in public areas," it said.
The report also highlighted the need for members of the public to play their role.
"This is a proactive step, however, there is still a need for more community effort in combating sexual offences. It has been noted that these crimes are being committed in homes and rural communities where officers do not necessarily have easy access to. There is a need for people, organisations and groups to work hand in hand with police."