30 Mar 2004

Fiji's Police Commissioner criticises the government

8:09 am on 30 March 2004

Fiji's police commissioner, Andrew Hughes, has strongly criticised the government, saying he finds working with it a very frustrating experience.

Mr Hughes says in the past nine months, since he has been in Fiji, the government has done nothing to improve the force's ability to fight crime despite his many requests and a submission.

The Fiji Times reports that the commissioner made the comments while addressing officers in Labasa during a tour of the Northern Division.

Mr Hughes says his request to the government to provide two point six million US dollars for new vehicles has fallen on deaf ears.

As well, his patience with the government is running out after many unsuccessful attempts to improve the working condition of his officers.

Mr Hughes says hehis is concerned about the pay of police officers, as well as the lack of vehicles, which is not allowing the officers to do their work properly.

Mr Hughes, who came to Fiji from the Australian Federal Police last year, says he will not give up and will ensure that the issue is not shelved.