3 Mar 2004

Fiji businessmen want security guards to carry pepper sprays

11:10 am on 3 March 2004

Businesses in Fiji are calling for private security guards to be armed with capsicum sprays.

The Fiji Sun says the call follows yet another robbery on Monday morning of the entire weekend takings of a large supermarket in suburban Suva just 50 metres from a police post as it was being taken to a bank across the road under police escort.

The robbers used a stolen car with a number plate issued to a police vehicle to get away.

The president of the Suva Retailers Association, Himmat Lodhia, says in view of the gravity and frequency of large armed robberies in Fiji, private security guards should be armed with capsicum sprays.

At present, such sprays are banned in Fiji because of fears they would fall into the hands of criminals, but Mr Lodhia says they should be legalised.

He says arming guards with guns is too risky, but sprays would be effective.