POLICE officers are working behind the scenes to ensure that vacant homes are safe and secure as people gather at Subrail Park in Labasa for the Festival of the Friendly North.
Divisional police commander northern SSP Naulumatua Lutunacaucau said they had beefed up patrols in peri-urban areas.
"This does not necessarily mean that we are not present at the grounds. We are just taking a step ahead to ensure that houses are not broken into by intruders while owners are attending the carnival," SSP Lutunacaucau said.
"Officers are also present at the grounds and they have been tasked to oversee the operation of the festival so that criminal activities do not happen there.
"A group of officers have been camping for the Commissioner's Cup challenge next week and in cases of emergency, they will be called in."
SSP Lutunacaucau said their focus was to ensure that homes were safe and secured.
"During this festivity, some people have the mind to steal from homes because they know that owners are at the carnival. But, we have set up an operational team to patrol and see that no homes are invaded."