A new partnership programme between the New Zealand Police and Fiji Police will focus on combatting transnational organised crime and enhancing investigative skills, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on the first day of her visit to Fiji.
The programme will see:
· New Zealand Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) support to the Fiji Police forensic laboratory to ensure successful prosecutions following drug seizures.
· Enhancing Fiji Police leadership and capability through provision of technical assistance to the Proceeds of Crime Unit and provision of New Zealand Police trained tracker dogs.
· The roll out of the UNDP “First Hour” programme in Fiji.
“Cooperation to reduce crime in the Pacific, especially around drug trafficking, is a priority for both the New Zealand and Fijian Governments,” Jacinda Ardern said.
“The New Zealand Government will be investing $11 million over three years into the programme which will enhance the capability of the Fijian Police while helping to disrupt drug trafficking in our region.
“In the same way we cooperate on issues that affect the whole Pacific like climate change, Fiji and NZ will work together to combat transnational crime and drug trafficking, which are having an increasingly negative impact across the region.
“The more we can do to prevent countries like Fiji being used as a transit point for trafficking, the more we can stop drugs arriving on New Zealand’s borders.
“This police partnership programme highlights the deepening of relations between New Zealand and Fiji and is an important step in the strengthening of a key institution in Fiji,” Jacinda Ardern said.