A new concept of community policing called Duavata was launched by the Minister for Defence, National Security and Immigration, Joketani Cokanasiga at the Fiji Police Community Symposium held at the Fiji Police Academy in Nasova this morning.
The concept which was designed by the Fiji Police for use in its’ community policing work throughout the country will be discussed by the participants at this two day workshop.
The concept when simplified means ‘DUA’ means, one while ‘VATA’ refers to a platform holding things together. Therefore the term ‘DUAVATA’ denotes togetherness of all to become one on one platform with a common purpose.
Community Policing in Fiji has come a long way with changes, introduction of new models and challenges along with it. Looking back over the years, there have initiatives introduced by the Fiji Police with intentions of bridging the gap between the police and the policed.
It ranged from police and community participation, to the latest Volunteer groups who were concerned for their safety and the safety of their community therefore, gave their time and effort to assist police in night patrols.
Furthermore, there were also efforts internationally through funding and support; however, unforeseen circumstances tend to deprive the organization from reaping the fruits of its genuine intentions.
Reminiscing all these intentions, initially, past governments did not play an active role to be part of these. Although, the Police is the law enforcement arm of government and may be perceived the presence of government.
That is the reason why this ‘Duavata Model’ is different from other initiatives as it incorporates all stakeholders for a common purpose. Government, in its endeavor to empower the Fiji Police, through the ambits of the Peoples Charter, one of the deliverables of the Ministry of Defence is the formulation of the National Crime Prevention Board.
This is the essence of it all. Being at the helm of this initiative, government’s involvement empowers the community policing machinery to run. The National Crime Prevention Board’s appointment mothers the Community Chiefs and his committee from each division and representatives from community level are amongst the different classifications of communities either traditional or non traditional set ups. These two traditional and non traditional set ups have their own programmes which can be either general or specific suiting its environment.