NFP: Fijian Police should never be armed with taser guns

THE Fiji Police Force should never be armed with taser guns or any other weapons that discharge force designed to kill people.

National Federation Party president Pio Tikoduadua highlighted this in a statement today saying Police Commissioner Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho was confused when suggesting they were looking at the option of taster guns when “he himself admits that the weapon is dangerous and can take lives”.

“The Police Commissioner is rightly concerned that his officers should not be used as punching bags. In fact, no person should ever be used as a punching bag by anyone,” Mr Tikoduadua said.

“We only hope that the recent incidents are in no way linked to the numerous reports and incidents of violence against ordinary unsuspecting citizens by members of the security forces but purely lawlessness arising out of drunkenness,” he added.

However, Mr Tikoduadua said the fact remained that a well-trained force should be easily able to defend itself from violent attacks.

“For police to be attacked by heavily intoxicated drunks who are not even in a right frame of mind – let alone capable of exerting physicality over an able person, more so if its police officer.”

Mr Tikoduadua said the Force should remain true to its motto of Salus populi – welfare of the people.

In an interview with this newspaper yesterday, Brig-Gen Qiliho said his officers had signed up to serve the people of Fiji and not to be “punching bags for people” while reacting to the recent attacks on lawmen and women.

He said  the use of tasers — conducted electrical weapons which fired two small barbed darts — was only being considered as an option at the moment.

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