THE Fiji Police Force has revealed that in their quest to increase the number of women police officers within the force, they will employ a "gender equality" approach.
Police spokesman Inspector Atunaisa Sokomuri told this newspaper yesterday that women would be treated in the same way as men — equal opportunities and equal tests to undergo.
"Some of the key areas the Commissioner of Police is trying to address within the force is that there will be no empire building and that there will be no gender issues," Insp Sokomuri explained.
He added that all women who applied to be recruited for officer duties would receive equal opportunities as the men in the force.
"As well as opportunities, they will also be expected to go through the same levels of fitness tests. We want them to earn their promotions because that is gender equality.
"We also wish to say that women will be given opportunities to perform in all areas of the force — as officers and even as customer service personnel," Insp Sokomuri said.
He said given the high number of sex crimes and crimes against women and children — increasing the number of women officers would hopefully encourage a safer environment for women and children alike.
"We feel that if women and children see an increase in the number of women police officers on streets, it will give them a sense of safety," he said.
Separately, the force will be conducting recruitments for a basic recruit course tomorrow.
"We hope to see people in the thousands. We have two separate categories — one requires a Form Seven pass and the other requires the person to have a degree.
"Those with Form Seven passes can become police constables and the ones who have a degree will become cadet officers," Insp Sokomuri said.