Sex-related crimes alarming, says Francis Kean

THE number of sex-related crimes committed in Fiji is alarming and a concerted national effort is needed to urgently address the issue, says Commissioner of Corrections Francis Kean.

Mr Kean made the comment at a press conference held during the closing of the 37th Asian Pacific Conference of Correctional Administrators in Nadi yesterday.

During a presentation by Fiji Corrections Service senior psychologist Elenani Vuru, it was revealed that 9767 sex crimes had been committed over the past five years alone.

“It is a concern,” said Mr Kean.

“I believe there have been previous forums where this matter was discussed at length, however, the FCS firmly believes that it is an issue that we need to address as a nation.

“In this forum we have invited stakeholders from Government and the private sector and the reason behind this is to promote awareness of the work FCS is doing so they understand the language and the work, operations that we as men and women as officers of the FCS undertake on a daily basis.

“The FCS is at the back end of the criminal justice system where all persons who are incarcerated for the crimes they have committed come to us.”

Mr Kean said society tended to have an unrealistic view that it was the sole responsibility of the FCS to turn perpetrators of sex crimes into law-abiding and morally upstanding citizens.

“Rehabilitation is not only the work of the FCS, it’s a nation-wide effort, it requires the assistance of the community, church elders, vanua and private and public sectors to help us help those who are incarcerated to make a life-changing decision and to become a good citizen that can contribute positively to the country.”

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