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Fiji Time: 12:49 PM on Friday 25 April

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Sex crime fight enters churches

Maciu Malo
Tuesday, February 19, 2013

MORE than 50 police officers in the Western Division attended church services over the weekend in a bid to engage church goers in the fight against sex crimes.

West police spokeswoman Naina Ragigia said the officers also attended boot camp as part of a team-building exercise.

She said the police were alarmed at the recent increase in the number of sexual offences recorded.

"The weekend boot camp included police officers from Sigatoka to Rakiraki," said Ms Ragigia.

"These officers attended services of the Methodist Church, the Catholic Church, Assemblies of God and other churches in Lautoka. They addressed church members and elders on the significance of the incidence of child and women abuse. The visitation is mainly to educate church members on some of the precautionary measures against sexual offences."

Ms Ragigia said the camp was hailed a success with thousands of church members educated on the protection of women and children.

"Church members are one of our main focus areas in our attempt to reduce sexual offences.

"Our officers also discussed with church elders the various ways and means of combating the offence.

"Methodist Church general secretary Reverend Tevita Nawadra said heads of church circuits were actively involved in reminding parents and guardians of their roles."

Ms Ragigia said there was also a need for individuals to spread the word and alert family members on the seriousness of the issue.

She said more boot camps had been arranged for other parts of the west.