16 Jun 2003

Fiji's new police commander ready for a markedly different role

3:16 pm on 16 June 2003

The Australian named to head Fiji's police force says the job will be markedly different from his current role as Canberra's Deputy Police Chief.

But Andy Hughes says there are also commonalities in community policing no matter where you go.

He was appointed last week after Fiji had approached several donor governments for assistance in filling the position.

Assistant commissioner Hughes says he has had some previous contact with Fiji police through his role with the Australian Federal police's international operations.

"I am aware of a lot of the regional issues -specifically, I am aware of a lot of the issues confronting Fiji through that work - we worked together a couple of years ago on Operation Log Runner which was the seizure of 357 kilos of heroin by the Fiji police force, and the arrest of three people - now we worked co-operatively with them to achieve that result, and during that process I learned a lot about the procedures and practices of the Fiji police because I was at the other end of the operation at a senior management level"

Andy Hughes says his employment package is being met by the Fiji Government, AusAid and the Australian Federal Police.

He is due to take up the position late next month.