MP Qereqeretabua: Arming police will not solve the problem

Opposition MP Lenora Qereqeretabua said given the increased reports of attacks against police officers, there was a real danger that in violent situations, weapons used to arm officers could be seized and used against them, placing their lives and those of innocent bystanders in greater harm. Picture: FT FILE/JONA KONATACI

THINGS could be better in the Fiji Police Force if a career police officer was the Police Commissioner.

Opposition MP Lenora Qereqeretabua raised this in her response to President Jioji Konrote’s speech in Parliament today.

She said given the increased reports of attacks against police officers, there was a real danger that in violent situations, weapons used to arm officers could be seized and used against them, placing their lives and those of innocent bystanders in greater harm.

“Arming the police is not going to solve the problem. Morale is low in the Force,” Ms Qereqeretabua claimed.

“Perhaps, if police officers worked under better, more fair conditions; perhaps if we had a career police officer as Police Commissioner instead of someone from the military imposed on them by this regime, things could be better in the Force,” she added.

She reiterated that prevention was better than cure and strongly opposed any attempt to arm police officers.

“With our current volatile situation of lawlessness, we must prevent opening a ‘Pandora’s box of evil’ upstream by choosing the default solution of arming our Police because we lack the capacity and resources to deal with the consequences downstream.”

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