11 Jan 2005

Fiji police commissioner says the force needs more funding for more resources

11:19 am on 11 January 2005

The Fiji Police Commissioner says his department needs to be given more resources if the crime rate is to improve in the country.

Andrew Hughes says Fiji has had an appalling start to the year with four murders within the first eight days followed by a vicious attack on the Australian High Commissioner.

Last month the government withdrew money that had been allocated to the police for crime detection equipment.

Mr Hughes says his department only gets 35-POINT-5 million US dollars a year with around 2-thousand officers policing over a million people.

He says he hopes the latest crime spate will prompt the government to offer more assistance.

"We don't have proper forensic capacity. I don't have any DNA analysis capability. We're really struggling on a number of fronts. Vehicles - we're continually short of vehicles and mobility becomes an issue. We need training in tackling sophisticated forms of criminality. The Fiji police has been neglected for about 20 years and now the legacy of that is that as we move into this globalised world, we're just not equipped for it, we're not resourced for it."