THE marked drop in crime in Lautoka's Vunato settlement is the result of the hard work of parents and youths over the past three years, says the West Police Commander SSP Salacieli Naivilawasa.
SSP Naivilawasa was at the settlement on Friday evening to farewell the Fiji Wow dance group which leaves for a 10-day tourism trade show in China tomorrow.
Travelling to China from the group are Filipe Bale, 23, Osea Martin, 21, Atelaite Yalimaiwai, 18, and Merelisoni Sadrata, 20.
The Fiji Wow group is a police initiative established three years ago to get the youths and children of Vunato involved in constructive activities. The group has since become the top dance troupe in the West.
"I am proud to say that this group was a police initiative and that it has really grown, thanks to the efforts of the parents who support it and the youths involved," said SSP Naivilawasa.
The group is the brainchild of Special Inspector Penijamini Vukivou of the Lautoka Community Police, who, with the assistance of the late SSP Rusiate Saini, helped establish it.
The 19-member group now entertains every week at major hotels in Nadi and Lautoka and at private functions.
"I am proud to say this dance group is indeed a model which we can use to set up everywhere," SSP Naivilawasa said.
He thanked businessmen Richard Lucas, the main sponsor and mentor of the group. SSP Naivilawasa also had a stern message for the four-member team selected for the China tour.
"You must remember you are representing your country and you must not let your bad habits from the past give in to the temptations you will encounter in China."