Police advise parents to prioritize safety of children

Caption:Chief of Investigations and Intelligence ACP Henry Brown.Photo:SUPPLIED.

By Salote Qalubau

The Fiji police force is urging parents and guardians to be cautious of their children?s whereabouts due to the recent reporting of two cases of alleged rape.

?Children are vulnerable especially in the presence of strangers which is why we cannot stress enough the importance of keeping a close eye on them at all times. You cannot afford to be complacent about their safety and should be mindful of who they are with and what they are doing, ?said Assistant Commissioner of Police and Chief of Investigations and Intelligence Henry Brown.

Police confirm that the first incident took place in Ba where a 13 year old was allegedly sexually assaulted by a 35 year old man twice. It is alleged the victim was sexually assaulted by the suspect on the night of Friday January 2 at a housing construction site.

The accused has been charged with two counts of rape and was produced at the Ba Magistrates Court yesterday.

?What?s of concern in this case is that the victim had allegedly relayed the matter to his grandfather and was ignored, leaving him in a vulnerable state where the suspect was given another opportunity to commit the second alleged act.

?It?s worrying when a child is not taken seriously by those who are supposed to be protecting their wellbeing and interests. If they can?t rely on us then who else can they turn to in their time of need,? ACP Brown added.

In another case a 7 year old girl was allegedly raped by a 15 year old in Nadi on the night of Sunday January 4.The suspect has since been interviewed in the presence of Social Welfare officers and released.

ACP Brown highlighted the crucialilty of not taking the safety of one?s child lightly in terms of parents and guardians placing the protection of their children above all other aspects.