Editorial comment – Correcting a wrong

Picture: FILE

THE revelation that three cases of assault on police officers were recorded last weekend is cause for concern.

We can only hope the cases and the manner in which the attacks happened are not reflective of an underlying fight against authority.

Police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro said in the first incident five men in their 20s allegedly stoned a Police Special Response Unit vehicle along Waimanu Rd in Suva while officers were on mobile patrol.

She said they damaged the vehicle’s tail gate light.

Three juveniles between the ages of 16 and 17 were also questioned for the same incident.

In the second incident, three juveniles aged 15 years were questioned for allegedly stoning a police officer who was walking towards the Vatuwaqa Police Post last Thursday.

The 20-year-old police officer was returning to the post when he was allegedly followed by some youths who swore and threw stones at him.

They also threw stones at the Community Post.

In Lautoka, a 22-year-old tertiary student assaulted a police officer along Tavakubu Rd.

Apparently the suspect’s vehicle was seized last Friday night after he was alleged to be driving under the influence of alcohol.

The suspect followed the officer to the Lautoka Police Station and committed the alleged offence.

Ms Naisoro said such attacks could impact operations if officers were injured or resources were damaged.

We need to find out what is happening to some of our youths.

Why is this even happening?

What are some of the underlying causes and how can we fight this rather frightening turn of events?

We can only hope that our police force isn’t losing its expected impact on society, and hasn’t lost the respect of many of our youths.

We hope it hasn’t lost touch with the community and our youths.

Something must be done to understand why some of the youths are turning against the police.

Something must be done to understand them, figure out what the causes are and work on addressing this in a manner that can nurture respect, for this in turn will encourage an appreciation for the law and for the work that our police men and women do.

It certainly is a sad reflection of society when our youth go against men and women who have sworn to protect law and order. But could there be reasons that we need to uncover?

We hope these are isolated incidents.

The force, however, must pull out all stops and get to the bottom of these events, do a comprehensive study of behaviour and why they happened.

Recent muggings in the streets of the Capital City have done no good for the image of the force.

Perhaps it is time for the force to understand how people have changed, trends on the streets, and be assertive.

As parents and guardians, we also have a duty to assist the police.

We have a critical role to play in nurturing our children to be law-abiding citizens of our nation.

Our challenge is to be transparent and accountable, and be good role models as well.

We should be working together.

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