SUVA, July 3 (Xinhua) -- A Fijian High Court judge has said that people in the island nation were living in fear and anxiety, while sentencing a Fijian husband and wife for aggravated robbery and theft.
Justice Aruna Aluthge said that Fijians were worried that their property and home would be invaded by unscrupulous people.
In a newly developed residential area about 20 minutes' drive from capital city of Suva, the residents are having the same feeling and they are calling for more police patrols to address the spate of robberies in their area. And this came after six houses in the area were broken into in just a week with cash, jewellery and groceries being stolen.
Praneeth Chand, a resident of the area, said that they were willing to carry out night patrols with police as long as their families were safe. Another resident Uate Vakaloloma said that they were even ready to help put up a police post.
Vakaloloma told Fiji Broadcasting Corporation (FBC) that the community was willing to contribute in the construction of the police post to ensure safety among families in the area.
Police Spokesperson Ana Naisoro welcomed the efforts of the residents and said that police were looking into the matter.
Two journalists in Suva said on Wednesday that even the streets of the capital were getting scary day by day.
Lo Vuki, who works in downtown Suva, said that when it was dark, Suva could be very dangerous.
According to Vuki, street kids just appeared from corners of the streets demanding money from those that passed by and there seemed to be additional new faces every day. Sometimes they would pass by with threatening comments if people refused to give money when they demanded it.
A solution to this was to have smarter police officers who could beat the minds of criminals, she said, adding that criminals were becoming more sophisticated and they needed officers who could catch their plans before they were carried out.
Another journalist Atasa Moce said that youths that were involved in robberies spoiled the name of Fiji especially as a tourist welcoming destination.
Such crimes were unheard of in the past but were becoming more frequently reported these days, she said, adding that no one was safe anymore in Fiji.
She noted that criminals attacked everyone and only wanted to satisfy their evil desires.
Moce said that even kids on the streets intimidated people by demanding money or loose change.
"These kids tarnish Fiji's image as a tourist destination and make people think twice about visiting the island nation,"she said.
But she said that this was a deeper problem of poverty.
University student Joseph Sefa, who was robbed lately, said that two boys attacked him on the street while he was heading home one day after school. The robbers took off with his mobile phone, wallet, watch and earphones.
He said that the youths were getting more and more daring and that they worked in groups.
"One just came up from behind and punched my nose. While I was dizzy, the other guy took my mobilephone, wallet and earphones. All this just happened in a split of the second," he said.
In June alone, 62 people in the island nation were charged with 234 counts of separate incidents of serious crimes.
This was revealed in the statistics released by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) for the month of June alone.
According to the statement, of the 62 accused persons, five were juveniles and three were police officers.
The statement also revealed that three juveniles were charged with aggravated burglary and theft with one juvenile being charged with aggravated robbery.
In a separate incident, one juvenile was charged with assault causing actual bodily harm to his mother with a hockey stick and a screwdriver while demanding money from her.
Three police officers were also charged with assault causing actual bodily harm while there were seven incidents where the accused and victims were related to one another.