24 Jan 2005

Fiji police budget review sparked by crime upsurge

5:06 pm on 24 January 2005

Fiji police say their inability to cope with the recent upsurge in high profile crimes has forced the government to review the police budget.

Police commissioner Andrew Hughes says the Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase, has set up a national security council committee to look at the current 35 million US dollar budget.

Mr Hughes says he's prepared a report for the committee showing that police need more than 10 million US dollars extra per year extra to function properly.

"We've had a number of high profile criminal cases, violent crimes in the Suva area which has raised some questions about whether the police is able to effectively respond to these, against a background of my claim that our budget is mainfestly inadequate to meet the demands of modern policing."

Mr Hughes says the committee, chaired by Mr Qarase, is meeting this week to consider the matter.