A police officer guides a driver for safety and assists effective COVID-19 response operations going on ahead of the street (Photo: Fiji Police Force)

Citizens and residents of Fiji have seen more police officers on the streets and around communities, attending to persons without masks in public space, controlling traffic at checkpoints, monitoring the flow of people at vaccination sites, assisting teams with food rations delivery at people’s doorsteps, and patrolling towns and cities to ensure that the public health safety order is being adhered to. These are some of the tasks among many others that police officers carry out every day in the field.

Meeting high operational demands, police officers have been engaged in 12-hour shifts since the government response to the COVID-19 outbreak was strengthened in April this year. Police officers perform those duties in high public health security demand, operate from various work bubbles to ensure continuity of service delivery and protect public order and security of neighbourhoods. They sacrifice time away from their families and loved ones to protect them from potential infection risks and all Fijian citizens.

The Fiji Police Force has prepared a safe space for those officers working 12-hour shifts to take rest comfortably and remain in their work bubbles.  50 bunk beds and 100 beddings were provided through the Fiji Police Support Project implemented by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) with funding and technical support from New Zealand Government and New Zealand Police.

50 bunk beds and 100 beddings to assist officers working 12-hour shifts. (Photo: UNDP)
Photo: UNDP

Fiji Police Force Commissioner of Police, Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho acknowledged the support and said, ”The beds and beddings provided through UNDP’s project will strengthen the Force’s compliance efforts and assist officers to meet increasing operational demands.”

He added that the Fiji Police Force also had a plan to utilize those beds to accommodate persons in temporary custody when required.

Levan Bouadze, Resident Representative of UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji said, “We are pleased we are able to support the Fiji Police Force especially during the COVID restrictions. Thanks to the funding from New Zealand, UNDP has already handed over several equipment to the Fiji Police Force including personal protective equipment. We hope it will help reduce the risk of virus spread and make the work of the police force compliant with all COVID protocols”

The Fiji Police Force Support Project aims to strengthen transparency, accountability and effectiveness of the Fiji Police Force, in collaboration with key justice stakeholders and civil society organizations. To support the Force to strengthen the rights of persons in early stage of criminal procedures, the project recently provided the digital equipment for Video-Recorded Interviews, specifically designed for law enforcement with state-of-the-art information and communications technology. The video-recording equipment has been installed at the Criminal Investigation Department Headquarter in Suva and being configured for implementation following expert training on Video-Recorded Interviewing with support from the New Zealand Police this year.

For media queries, please contact:

Ana Naisoro, Fiji Police Media Liaison Officer; tel.: +679 3348107 / +679 990 5999; email: abnaisoro@gmail.com

Tomoko Kashiwazaki, Advocacy and Communications for the Fiji Police Force Support Project, UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji; tel.: +679 715 8051; email: tomoko.kashiwazaki@undp.org

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