Suva Fiji – In recognition of the evolving professional requirements of Police, the Fiji Police Force and other justice stakeholders have embarked on a two-week curriculum development effort to improve early access to justice and victim centered investigations.
Once finalized, the courses will be integrated into the formal curricula of the Fiji Police Academy and rolled out to officers from the recruit to Superintendent level.
This extensive exercise is also aimed at enhancing the knowledge and skills of the Fiji Police Force Officers in curriculum writing and development.
These elements are aimed at addressing the evolving professional requirements of police officers and ensure the sustainability of early access to justice trainings conducted over the past three years.
Speaking at the opening of the training in Suva, the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr Rusiate Tudravu, highlighted the importance of ensuring a sustained learning process for all Fiji police.
“This initiative will protect the integrity of policing for generations to come and the Fiji Police Force is truly grateful to the British Government and the UNDP for their continuous support with the trainings conducted to date, for our officers from recruit to senior levels”, said Tudravu.
“Since strengthening collaboration between relevant stakeholders, Police have benefitted immensely with the reduction of complaints against our services particularly in the handling of vulnerable persons and persons in our custody. We look forward to the finalized curriculum as it will further boost our current efforts supporting Government’s efforts since ratifying the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in 2016”.
In December 2018, the British High Commission in Suva and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) supported a Specialist Investigative Interviewing Training for the Fiji Police Force, which was delivered by the United Kingdom (UK) College of Policing.
The course was based on the UK College of Policing specialist interviewing course and the most up to date UK policing training style and approved professional practice. The five-day training developed the skills of the Fiji Police Force in interviewing children and vulnerable witnesses, suspects and victims. In addition, the training provided the participants with the necessary skills to carry out the training to their colleagues.
Curricula development, training of curriculum writers and development of knowledge products as a tool for officers, all form part of the Fiji Police Force endorsed recommendations arising from the UK Study tours and the 2017 ‘Training of Trainers’, both of which were supported by the British High Commission in Suva.
Following the 2017 Study Tour, the need to place victims at the heart of investigations so as to avoid revictimization was emphasised and noted by the Fiji Police Force.
Echoing the sentiments of the Deputy Police Commissioner, the Head of Network Strategy and Operations at the British High Commission in Suva, Mr Tim Hanson acknowledged the willingness of the Fiji Police Force to continually review and update its own standards of practice.
“The United Kingdom is proud to continue its collaboration with the Fiji Police Force and UNDP to enhance investigative procedure and support Fiji in their compliance with obligations under the UN Convention Against Torture. The curriculum training and development of knowledge products, which will take place over the coming weeks, is a significant step in the evolution of this strong and productive partnership”, said Hanson.
In 2017 and 2018, two training of trainers in early access to justice were undertaken resulting in the qualification of 40 trainers in the Fiji Police Force with the necessary skills and knowledge to deliver the training to other Officers. Over 500 new recruits have since received the training.
The Programme Manager, Access to Justice, Rule of Law and Human Rights with the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji, Mr Andrew Harrington, in his address, highlighted the importance of partnership in delivering an efficient justice system that works for all.
“The collaboration of the institutions involved, namely the Judiciary, the Fiji Police Force, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Legal Aid Commission, and the Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission, evidence Fiji’s unwavering commitment to implement the United Nations Convention Against Torture”, said Harrington.
He added, “In carrying out their independent roles, the institutions delivered this initiative, benefiting Fijians by ensuring protection of Constitutional rights, the rights of police officers and enhancing the efficiency of the justice system overall.”
“Most importantly, I would like to thank the Fiji Police Force for their demonstrated leadership and determination in ensuring that initiatives which place the citizens of Fiji at the centre of every officers’ work are sustainably implemented,” said Harrington.
The curricula development and knowledge products developed will be based on international best practices and is also strictly specific to the Fijian context and based on Fijian legal principles.
The two-week training and curricula development sessions will conclude on Friday 9 August 2019.
For more information:
Ana Naisoro, Fiji Police Media Liaison Officer; tel: (679) 3348107 / 9905999; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jone Tuiipelehaki Raqauqau, Communications Associate, Effective Governance Team, UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji; tel: (679) 3227 552; email: email@example.com.
Vosita Kotoiwasawasa, British High Commission in Suva; email: Vosita.Kotoiwasawasa@fco.gov.uk