Call to eradicate violence culture

Some members of the Fiji Police who were served on duty at the UN Peacekeeping march towards the Albert park during the 40th annivesary of the UN Peacekeeping celebration yesterday.Picture ATU RASEA

THE culture of resorting to violence to extract confessions from suspects needs to be eradicated from the Fiji Police Force.

This was highlighted by the permanent secretary for Ministry of Defence and National Security, Osea Cawaru during the closing of the regional training of trainers video recording interview and investigative interview at the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service building in Suva last week.

Mr Cawaru said there were provisions in the Fijian constitution prohibiting torture and other forms of cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment, however, it was unfortunate that because of a few officers who chose to take the law into their own hands, it had resulted in the Fiji Police Force being labelled a brutal and unprofessional force.

Mr Cawaru reminded the participants that irrespective of which country they were from, the principles of policing were universal as they had all sworn an oath to protect life and property and maintain safety and security of their respective citizens.

“The skills gained will enable you to deliver video recorded interviews and investigative interviewing practices and this should not be taken lightly.

“At times, emotions would get the better of us and this has clouded our judgment where best practices are thrown out the door resulting in complaints against your services. He said Fiji had adopted the “First Hour Procedure and Video Recorded Interviews” to ensure that the rights of detained persons were upheld.

Meanwhile, Mr Cawaru also said the initiative was adopted to ensure Fijians were aware of their rights upon detention and procedures which protect human rights and were guaranteed by the law enforcement officers. Participants from Nauru, Vanuatu, Tonga, Samoa and Fiji were part of the week-long training.

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