Youths complete community policing symposium

CAPTION: Participants with their certificates.

More than 20 youths from the provinces of Rewa, Tailevu and Naitasiri have completed a four day Community Policing Youth Symposium.

The Youth Symposium Seminar was held from the 2nd to the 5th of July in Muana I Ra village, Kiuva, Bau. Those in attendance were youths from Rewa, Tailevu and Naitaisiri. Part of the ongoing Duavata community policing initiative, the 22 youths were brought together for the purpose of empowering the on their roles and responsibilities in crime prevention.

Held in conjunction with other stakeholders the four day symposium was closed yesterday by Chief Operations Officer ACP Rusiate Tudravu  who called on the youth’s to play a more inclusive role in their communities and at the same time gave them them an insight of what the Fiji Police is facing.

“On average we receive almost 300 cases from the five division’s everyday with some classified as criminal serious cases while some are trivial in nature but the fact these reports are coming in should not only be the concern of the Fiji Police but everyone’s”.

“The ratio of police officers to the people we serve is 1:400, which means one police officer serves 400 members of the community”, adds ACP Tudravu.

The aim of the four day symposium was to implement the integrated approach by maximizing coordination and participation with the youths from the three provinces. This covered the Duavata model strategic partnerships, lectures on the the new Decrees and crime and empowering them on their roles and responsibilities in crime prevention.

“You are our best line of defense because you make up the highest number of Fiji’s population today, but unfortunately our youth also make up the highest number of those being caught on the wrong side of the law”.

“You are the future of Fiji, the future mums and dads and if you don’t want your child growing up in a crime ridden community then you must act now and it depends on the decisions you make today”, said ACP Tudravu.

In emphasizing the Duavata approach, he went on to call on the youths and the people of Muana I Ra village to help police maintain law and order in their communities.

“We all know what Duavata means and this is why we are coming here to request you to join us in the fight against crime”.

“The Duavata Concept was launched on the national level in February and since then awareness has been carried out at divisional and district level as we try and enlist the help of our communities to come on board and pledge their support in this fight’, said ACP Tudravu.

The Assistant Commissioner of Police in addressing the elders of Muana I Ra village stressed the importance of taking ownership of their own safety.

“Government is doing all it can to develop and improve standard of living and you as recipients also have a role to play as essential services are being brought closer to your very own door steps”.

“Similarly the Fiji Police is coming to your homes because we care. The best way you can show your appreciation would be to look after the well being of your women and children and ensure they continue to feel safe as they have been and I commend the Roko Tui Kiuva who is with us today for your efforts so far”, he added.

Other stakeholders who were part of the symposium include the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Ministry of Social Welfare, Ministry of Agriculture, the Fiji Disabled Society and other NGO’s.

For one participant the four days wasn’t enough as he is still hungry for more information.

Twenty year old Jona Kurukuru of Matanimoli, Noco, Rewa says the four day workshop was a real eye opener and has helped changed his view of the Fiji Police Force.

“I’ve learned a lot from this symposium and now that I know more about the different laws in place, it’s really taught me to be more alert”.

“We have around 30 youths back in our village and I will definitely go back and share what I’ve learned here because it’s information that I believe they should know if they are to make better informed decisions’, adds Kurukuru.

The young lad says he will be making a request to the Eastern Division Community Policing unit to have a similar symposium for this peers back at Matanimoli village in Noco, Rewa.



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