14 Mar 2018

Fiji could double jail time for assaulting police

4:06 pm on 14 March 2018

Fiji's Parliament is considering increasing the maximum penalty for assaulting a police officer to 10 years in jail.

70710201 - lautoka, fiji -  dec 30 2016:fijian police officers patrolling in the main street. the fiji police force annual statistics reveal an 18% increase in crime cases in 2015.

Photo: rafaelbenari/123RF

Acting Prime Minister and Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, tabled the Crimes Amendment Bill which proposes to double the length of imprisonment for anyone harming police.

He said respect for the police was really affected after the 1987 coup and the police force must be safeguarded as an institution.

He said the current act failed to sufficiently deter actions which hinder law enforcement.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said under the bill a person could face 10 years in jail for biting, spitting or throwing body fluids or faeces at an officer, pretending or actually threatening police with a dangerous weapon, or causing harm.

Fiji Village said the current maximum imprisonment for assaulting a police officer is five years.