Police unable to prevent spate of robberies in cyclone hit Ra

March 10, 2016

Robbers and thieves are taking advantage of the power blackout in cyclone-ravaged areas of Viti Levu by stealing poultry, cattle, livestock and entering compounds as well as homes of people.

The province of Ra seems to be the worst hit, with many families falling victims to such robberies every night. This spate of robberies is increasing every night and residents are fast loosing faith in the ability of police to contain criminal elements.

Cattle and livestock are being stolen which are valuable possessions of farmers. Damaged homes and destroyed properties are being burgled with criminal elements ignoring pleas from the victims and no one coming to their assistance even after they cry for help.

This is simply unacceptable in a modern society where the vulnerable and those suffering from a calamity are not being spared. In one incident on Tuesday night a farmer in Vunikavikaloa lost 5 cattle to the thieves.

These incidents are increasing the losses and plight of our people who are still psychologically traumatized after the devastation caused by Tropical Cyclone Winston.

It is sickening to see these criminal acts being committed right under the noses of our law enforcement agencies of both police and the military, who have been deployed to help in distribution of rations and other relief work.

The question arises: What are police doing about this?

The new Commissioner must confront this issue immediately. He must deploy more manpower and resources to these areas or be honest enough to say that the police force lacks resources especially vehicles to carry out regular patrols.

It is the job of police to prevent lawlessness at all times, more so during a natural disaster when we have thousands of weak and vulnerable people as a result of the devastation caused by the cyclone.

The last thing we need is people taking the law into their own hands to protect their livestock and property because of the inability of police to effectively control crime.

This must be prevented by way of a well-equipped police effectively policing the disaster declared areas.

Biman Prasad

Leader

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