10-year penalty for police assault

PARLIAMENT has passed the Crimes (Amendment) Bill 2018 and the Succession, Probate and Administration (Amendment) Act 2018.

The Crimes (Amendment) Bill 2018 will see an increase in the penalty for assaulting a police officer in specific circumstances from imprisonment for five years to imprisonment of 10 years.

In opposing the Bill, Opposition Member of Parliament Semesa Karavaki said penalties against people who assaulted police officers could be increased to a 100 years, but that would not change the situation if trust was not built between police officers and communities.

“There must be a trust. Without the trust we cannot address this problem through the deterrence,” Mr Karavaki said.

While speaking on the Bill, Minister for Defence and National Security Ratu Inoke Kubuabola said respect towards police officers was not only lacking in the community.

Ratu Inoke said there was no respect from people towards police officers.

“It goes back to families. The need for families to teach their children to respect people and that is lacking now,” he said.

Ratu Inoke said the current penalty of five years was lenient, which was why there was a need to increase the penalty.

Meanwhile, the Succession, Probate and Administration (Amendment) Act 2018 will allow persons in defacto relationships to apply for grants of letters of administration and to set out their entitlement in the scheme of property distribution upon intestacy.

Both Bills were passed after unanimous votes for the Bills.

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