Editorial comment – Law and order

The Police patrol car that was attacked this morning while the four officers were still inside. Picture: SUPPLIED

POLICE Commissioner Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho did not mince his words yesterday in the wake of another attack on his men.

Six men were arrested after they attacked four policemen following a vehicle pursuit in Suva.

Mr Qiliho warned the force would not rest until everyone involved in the attack was arrested.

“If you want to support the attacks against police officers, stand ready to face the consequences when the law takes its course,” he warned yesterday.

Police Constables Waisale Senikavika, Ronald Kumar, Robakibau Drotini and Special Constable Talikai Kavou, who are all based at the Southern Highway Division in Nabua, were on routine patrol about 2am yesterday when they were allegedly attacked after a car chase that ended at Mead Rd in Nabua. The six men were arrested at the scene.

Mr Qiliho said the hunt was now on for others alleged to be involved in the turn of events. He expressed concern that there were others who came to the assistance of the six attackers.

This attack came in the wake of two more attacks on police officers last month. Two separate attacks on its officers in July forced the Police Force to send out a warning that such action would not be condoned.

Those attacks happened over a 24-hour period. Six police officers were stoned when confronting a group of men who were allegedly trying to break into a supermarket at Nakasi on the morning of Monday, July 23, while a female officer was attacked at the Delainavesi Community Post in Lami the next morning.

At the time, Acting Deputy Commissioner of Police Itendra Nair confirmed that stones and beer bottles were also thrown at the Nakasi Police Station vehicle that attended to the scene of the break-in.

While it was fortunate that no one was injured, he confirmed assets, however, were damaged. Attacks on police officers are not isolated events happening only in Fiji though.

The Samoa Observer for instance, reported on April 6 this year that eight police officers had to be taken to hospital and police vehicles were damaged after they were attacked when attending to a report at a village in Samoa.

We hope these recent events in Fiji are not reflective of a greater problem here.

Sceptics may wonder whether this is a sign of a fragmented society. Such events are a major concern.

They bring to light a level of thinking that is frightening. It pits the law against people who will not hesitate to attack it.

It is frightening that people are not afraid to retaliate and harass our men and women in blue. Law and order are important ingredients in a stable society. Our men and women in blue do not have an easy task.

We are doomed when people deliberately go against policemen and women, and show no respect at all for the law.

As responsible citizens of Fiji, we have a duty to do the right thing and abide by laws that govern our nation. We each have important roles to play, to ensure we all live in peace and harmony in our beautiful country. |

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