Fiji Time: 10:16 PM on Wednesday 28 September

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Safety and security

Fred Wesley
Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Fighting crime is not easy work. There is an expectation by people that, to some extent, places the work of our security forces on a very high plane.

As our front page report points out, it appears thieves are becoming more brazen and violent, and are not showing any mercy — even to the poor.

We are told that over the past few weeks, criminals targeted an upmarket gated community along the Coral Coast and violent home invasions were also causing sleepless nights for residents of a poor farming community in Ba.

Community leaders from the outskirts of Ba, in an area made up largely of poor canecutters, are calling on the public to be vigilant and on the lookout for criminals who are terrorising neighbourhoods.

And if that wasn't enough, footage from a CCTV system in Lautoka captured the shocking scene of a carjacking in progress outside a shop.

A family was forced to try and fight off a group of men who forcefully stole their vehicle after having pushed out the wife and her two children. The youths also pushed aside the husband before they made their getaway.

As police investigations continue, the scene would have pricked at emotions.

The extent to which the youths went, to overpower the family, in front of a shop, showed their apparent lack of fear. It isn't a scenario any family would ever want to experience.

It is a concern and will no doubt anger many people.

While there will be calls for more police presence on our streets, the reality is our men and women in blue need our support to do their work effectively.

And that means being part of the process to reduce, or to fight criminal activity.

Everything starts from home then.

It begins with the upbringing of our children and continues into adulthood.

The challenge is also on our police force to rise above this and to clamp down on any threat.

The people of Fiji will look up to the force for security and justice.

Clearly many questions are being raised right now.

But given the scenarios that are before us, there is also a great opportunity for the force to live up to the expectations of every Fijian.

Now more than ever, Fijians will expect the force to allay our fears, and provide the basis for a nation that we can all live in peacefully. The police need our support and encouragement. In such times, we must work together for the greater good.

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