FAMILY disputes, sexual abuse and theft were the most reported cases in Serua Province.
The police figures were presented by Serua provincial administrator Iakobo Wainidrola who said a total of 20 such cases had been reported in the province so far this year.
Mr Wainidrola said with child abuse, Serua recorded five sexual abuse cases, one emotional abuse and physical abuse case and two neglect cases which were highlighted by the Social Welfare Department.
He said the number of criminal cases was increasing and the province must treat it as a matter of urgency.
Mr Wainidrola said the police had been conducting awareness in the province through their Duavata Community Policing campaign to tackle the issue.
He said apart from monitoring the prevalent offences occurring in the province, the provincial council members needed to address the issue with the district representatives, so that positive feedback could come from the district and even villages.
Permanent secretary for iTaukei Affairs Savenaca Kaunisela said child protection was important and the government and UNICEF were working together to address the issue.
Mr Kaunisela said the number of child abuse cases was increasing and the people of Serua needed to protect their children from such acts.