Concern Over Incidents of Young People Reported Missing

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By ANA SOVA

The Fiji Police Force has urged that there’s a need to address incidents of young people reported missing and later found with their partners.

Police Chief of Intelligence and Investigations, ACP Biu Matavou said these incidents could turn an innocent time spent together to one with criminal implications.

A 17 year old has been charged with one count of defilement after he was found with a young girl who was reported missing last week.

He will be produced at the Lautoka Magistrates Court today.

ACP Matavou said despite the fact that victim and accused were involved in a relationship, it must be noted that it is an offence to be with a person under the age of 18 years without the parent’s consent and therefore one could face the possibility of being charged with abduction an offence in the Crimes Decree.

“Parents and guardians are also asked to talk to their children and if they are involved in a sexual relationship and under the age of 16, and in the event the Police are alerted,do know that a crime is being committed and possible charges could be defilement of children under 13 years or defilement of young persons between 13 and 16 years,” ACP Matavou said.

He said Police has continued to address these issues through the Duavata Community Policing awareness programs, however there is a need for parents and guardians to discuss this matter with their children.

“Our investigations into reports of missing persons under the age of 18 years will be looking into this issue,”

“This is because we have found most of the missing persons are found with either their boyfriend or girlfriend, so there is a need to discuss the matter that certain so called leisure activities could result in criminal charges,” ACP Matavou said.