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Underage sex crimes

Repeka Nasiko
Tuesday, December 05, 2017

THE victims and accused of sex crimes in Fiji are getting younger, says divisional criminal investigations department West chief Assistant Senior Superintendent Suliano Moceilekutu.

He said the Fiji Police Force was concerned about the increasing number of young sex offenders and victims of the crime.

"It is a crime that causes a lot of heartache which impacts the victim and society at large," he said.

"The Fiji Police Force continues to address sex crimes in Fiji and all cases are treated with urgent care.

"There are often times when we are in disagreement with other organisations about statistics of sexual offences in Fiji and we have always been adamant that the issue is not about the numbers or who is right but the fact that the offence is taking place."

The CID investigator highlighted some of the worrying statistics of sexual offences handled by police over the past five years.

"Over the past five years, victims under the age of five who were females were 125 while 24 were male.

"In 2012, 2947 reports were lodged with the Fiji Police Force whereas in 2013, there were 3249 cases reported.

"In 2014, 3666 cases were reported while in 2015, 2651 cases were reported while last year alone, 1593 cases were reported.

"The sexual offence that was the highest recorded was indecently insulting or annoying any person followed by rape and indecent assault, defilement of persons between the ages of 13 and 16 years, abduction of persons under 18 years with intent to have carnal knowledge, sexual assault, attempt to commit rape, defilement of persons below the age of 13 years, incest by a relative, defilement of intellectually impaired persons and assault with intent to commit rape."

He said police would continue to work with relevant stakeholders to address the societal problem.

"Through our Community Policing campaigns we continue to educate the public and work with relevant stakeholders in bringing awareness to this problem."

ASP Moceilekutu was speaking at a Sex Crimes Fiji workshop organised by the Fiji Women Lawyers Association in Lautoka.

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