POLICE have stopped late night grog sessions at the Lautoka City market for hygiene reasons.
Speaking to stakeholders at the Lautoka City Council chambers yesterday, west police commander Senior Superintendent of Police Jope Ralulu said late night grog sessions were causing problems for council officials.
"It is an issue that has been a concern for a while now because these grog sessions tend to go late into the night," he said.
"We are trying to discourage people from loitering in town but this issue increases the problem."
SSP Ralulu said during the first phase of their community policing exercise in Lautoka on Tuesday night, police officers had to interrupt grog sessions outside the market grounds and send people home.
Council CEO Jone Nakauvadra, said council officials had also been monitoring the number of people that drank grog at the market.
"By law, these grog sessions have to end at 5pm but because we've had several requests from working people who want to have grog after work, we've agreed to extend the cut-off time to 8pm," said Mr Nakauvadra.
"So we have been working closely with the police to ensure that people adhere to these times and not carry on after 8pm.
"We want to stop this practice because we have found that people urinate around the market during these sessions. This is something that we want to stop because it dirties our city."
West police media spokeswoman Naina Ragigia said police officers would go to the market grounds and stop people from drinking kava after 8pm.
Also an issue of concern is the number of beggars in the city.
"We found that some of them needed help while others were well off. When we transported one of them to his home, we found that he owned a big house with six tenants living there," said SSP Ralulu.