Fiji Police Strengthening Program announced by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden during her visit to Fiji earlier this year is expected to get underway next month.
This follows a Zoom meeting held this past week with New Zealand Police’s Inspector Paris Razos, senior Fiji Police Directors, NZ High Commission to Fiji Representatives where discussions were held on preliminary work to be carried out before his arrival in Fiji in November.
In February this year, the joint announcement was made by Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and his NZ counterpart Jacinda Arden to find new ways to improve the health, wellbeing, and resilience of their people with both agreeing to expand security partnership into policing co-operation.
Fiji Police’s Director International Relations Senior Superintendent of Police Ulaiasi Ravula said the first Zoom meeting was to allow the Directors from the Criminal Investigations Department, K9, Training, Corporate Services, and Drugs to assist IP Razos to understand specific needs required in their specialized fields.
The partnership program between the New Zealand Police and Fiji Police will focus on combatting transnational crime and enhancing investigative skills.
The program will also see support to the Fiji Police Forensic Laboratory, enhancing leadership and capability through the provision of technical assistance in specialized Units, the rollout of the UNDP “First Hour” program, and cooperation to reduce crime in the Pacific specifically around drug trafficking.
SSP Ravula said the Fiji Police Force is looking forward to working with IP Razos who comes with extensive years of experience in International training development.
IP Razos has worked in organized crime, drugs, and transnational crime, was part of the investigative interviewing development work for their First Hour Program, broader training management with the School of Community Policing, and has worked in Kiribati, Afghanistan, and the Solomon Islands.
The New Zealand Government will be investing $11Million over three years into the program.