Caption: Assistant Commissioner of Police Henry Brown and Assistant Commissioner of Police Isikeli Vuniwaqa badges SSP Luke Navela to head the Internal Affairs Unit.
By ANA NAISORO
In light of the high number of complaints against police and police service, the Acting Commissioner of Police has re-established the Fiji Police’s Internal Affairs Division.
The Internal Affairs Division was first introduced on the 1st of October 1991 with the initial intent of conducting investigations on serious allegations against police officers apart from other supporting roles they were assigned to.
In 1996 the Division was reorganized and renamed as Police Complaints Department and thereafter as the Professional Standards Division.
Over the years it underwent another review and by the time it was disbanded in 2011, the Unit was named Discipline and Ethical Standards Division.
On 15th November 2013, Acting Commissioner of Police Ravi Narayan issued a directive formalizing the re-establishment of the unit under the office of the Director Internal Affairs.
This morning Superintendent Luke Navela was promoted to Senior Superintendent and appointed the Director Internal Affairs.
Previously the issue of complaints against police and complaints against service was dealt with at the divisional level by the Divisional Police Commanders, however due to the increasing number of complaints received from members of the public, the Acting Commissioner saw it fit to re-establish the central unit at Headquarters.
“Under this Unit all complaints received will be dealt with in an efficient manner and it enables us to centrally manage investigations into serious disciplinary and criminal cases involving police officers”.
“The Unit will be responsible for investigating all reports on a case by case basis and ensure the complainants grievances are dealt with accordingly”.
In announcing the appointment, the Acting Commissioner stressed the importance of the Unit under SSP Navela’s leadership as complaints against the organization continue to be a contentious issue.
“Members of the public will be looking to your unit to deal with their complaints fairly and I also expect nothing but the highest level of professionalism when you carry out your duties”.
The Unit will be based at the Fiji Police Headquarters in Laucala.