37 police officers from Sigatoka, Nadi and Lautoka today graduated from a workshop run by the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre on Gender, Violence against Women, Human Rights and Legal.
In handing out their certificates this afternoon, Chief Guest, Divisional Police Commander Western, Salacieli Naiviliwasa told participants they should count themselves lucky.
“We’re thankful for this opportunity to be trained by the FWCC. Police officers have been up-skilled and trained on understanding Gender, the legal aspects of gender issues particularly the Domestic Violence Decree and Investigative Skills. To participants, you should count yourselves privileged in being a part of a training such as this,” he said.
Police officer and participant, Edward Bibi said the workshop has broadened his knowledge on how to carry out his duties more promptly.
“When I entered this training I just thought I was going to learn a little bit more on Domestic Violence but what I got instead was a training that helped me understand how my work as a police officer, as an investigator needs to be in compliance with the law” said Bibi.
“This training was a good refresher from what we learnt in the Academy, but it took my understanding to another level, especially on the Gender training on understanding now what women go through” said another participant Varun Anand.
FWCC Coordinator Shamima Ali said the past week was nothing less than a success.
“The privilege is ours in being able to come and train officers again on Gender and the Law. It was encouraging to see how responsive participants have been during this 5 day training…I was shocked that majority of the participants knew little about the Domestic Violence Decree and other laws concerning Police duties and how this affect’s the public, particularly women and girls in Fiji. This was also worrying because Enforcement Agencies need to be aware of what is in the law for them to effectively enforce existing laws. ”
“This training provided us with an opportunity to pilot this module which we hope to then use both in Fiji and in the Pacific, targeting Police officers,” she added.
She added, the past week could be the beginning of a renewed partnership between the FWCC and the Fiji Police Force.
The Australian Aid funded workshop was the result of a collaboration between the office of the Divisional Police Commander Western and the FWCC.