1 May 2007

Arm police - says senior Fiji officer

7:54 am on 1 May 2007

A senior Fiji police officer has called for the force to be armed with weapons to curb the sharp increase in cases of robbery with violence.

The Fiji Times reports that the call has come from the acting assistant police commissioner for operations, Jahir Khan.

Mr Khan is quoted as saying there were fewer violent robberies when the military patrolled the streets with loaded weapons.

Following the recent spate of home invasions and violent robberies by large gangs of armed men, Mr Khan says the police force is concerned with these cases.

He says the trend reflects the need for the police to revise their approach.

Chambers of commerce, businesses and numerous citizens around Fiji have been calling for the return of armed soldiers to the streets to help reduce crime which fell dramatically when they were manning roadside checkpoints after the military takeover.