The Beginning: The Armed Native Constabulary
The Fiji Police Force as its exit today was created by the new Colonial Administration when the first officers were appointed by notice in the Royal Gazette dated 10 th October 1874, and the ADC to the Governor was appointed Superintendent of police. He was Lieutenant Henry Olive of the Royal Marine Light Infantry and although he had no previous experience of police duties he was ideally suited to the job of training the men were destined to become the Armed Native Constabulary (ANC).
The Gazette issue made several appointments but none was to affect the police more than that of Henry Olive.
After the ceremonial signing of the Deed of Cession the flag of the Cakobau Government was; lowered and the raising of the Union flag signified the entry of Fiji into the British Empire.
Lieutenant Olive had spent much time with the ANC (Armed Native Constabulary, the new name of the Royal Army) until 1906, when it was abolished, it would be described as a military, and not a Police Force, but was always commanded by a police officer.
* White Sulu Tavatava and Chinese Blouse
Legality for law enforcement
Before the year of the Little War had ended, legality for law enforcement and the quelling of internal disturbances had been established by two Ordinances: No XXX of 1876 dated 19 th December and XXXI of 1876 dated 29 th. The first was for the Regulation of the Police Force and the second for the Regulation of a force of Armed Native Constabulary.
Both ordinances commenced with the Governors authority to appoint the Commanding Officer of each force, a Superintendent of Police in the case of the former, and a Commandant in the case of the ANC. Both post during Fijis first twelve years as a colony, were held by one man, the ADC to the Governor.
Both appointments gave the folder automatic appointment as a Justice of Peace. The main difference was that the Commandant could establish a court to inquire into any breaches of discipline and the court could order corporal punishment not exceeding forty lashes.
Four Different Classes of Police
There were in fact different classes of police
* The ANC, known to Fijian as Sotia
* The Regular Police in Levuka and Suva
* The rural police reporting to District Commissioners and
* The village police responsible to the turaganikoro (village headman)
Uniforms were similar for lower ranks, while isulu Tavatava worn with a blue collarless tunic, patterned after the original Chinese blouse uniform worn by the first recruits. Only the buttons were different. Those of the sotia were brass while the ovisa, as all other police were called, wore silver buttons.
The Governor Sir Arthur Gordon called a meeting of planters in Levuka to stress the need to improve the economy of the Colony in order to pay for such necessary departments as the Police Force.
The capital officially relocated when the Governor and his staff left Levuka at midnight on 30 th October, 1882 and transferred by ship to Suva.
The Police Force had maintained a station in Suva and it was the first government Department to move, setting up headquarters at the present site of the Suva Police Station now called Central Police Station. The area became known as Totogo, after the name of the site of then original Police Station in Levuka.
The ANC set up camp at Nasova, which was also named after their camp in Levuka. With space to grow, Suva soon began to provide extra challenges to the Fiji Police, with law enforcement problems.
Different Tasking of Police Officer and ANC
This major tasks was still a responsible of the ADC to the Governor and remain until 1866 when trained police officers started to move up to the senior positions. So it was that there was no annual report until 1884. This report touched only lightly on the growth of the force in the years between the end of the Little War the year of the report.
The report referred to the transfer of Superintendent FC Halkett to act as Chief Police Magistrate, thus reducing the strength of the force by one European office, which left the total force strength at 45 on the last day of 1884 made up of:
1 Acting Superintendent
1 Acting Sub Inspector
2 Native Inspector
2 European Sergeants
4 Native Sergeants
2 Native Corporals
26 Native Constables
4 Indian Constables
All were stationed at Suva and Levuka, except 1 Indian constable on Taveuni. The annual report noted the success of having Fijian Sub Inspectors permanently engaged to oversee the needs of the non commissioned officers and men. Provision had also been made for the employment of extra Indian Constables, made necessary by the great amount of quarantine duties the police were called upon to perform. This includes manning the boats that took out health officials to all ships arriving from foreign ports, as well as supplying security guards for those under quarantine. Another non police task that fell to the force that year was shipping and landing of all overseas mail for the Postal Department.
Although conduct on the whole was reported as very good, the Inspector- General drew attention to the major drawback, which was that Constable were only enlisted for two years, and few re-enlisted for further service. He put this down to poor rates of pay and working conditions. If both were to be improved to be equivalent to pay and conditions elsewhere, he was sure the Force would soon become much more effective. To archive this, the pay for constable would have to be increased from 225 pound per annum to at least 450 pound, old currency equivalent to two dollars.
First Batch of Women Police Officers
At the start of the year 1970, many countries were considering the role of women in the uniformed services. This departure from tradition was due to many considerations including the part played by women service in World War II, and the increasing strength world wide of the feminist movement.
The idea of recruiting policewomen in Fiji was mooted as early as the 1960s, when the Colonial Government was urged to recognize the status of women by the YWCA and the Methodist Church. Women were playing an increasingly important role in community affairs. The Colonial government, under pressure but not having studied the problem thoroughly, agreed in December 1968 to a pilot scheme whereby women could be recruited into the Special Constabulary. At this stage the government had not clearly defined the part women would pay in the organisation, if and when they should be fully integrated in the Fiji Police.
The eight women who formed the Special Constabulary (Women) in 1968 were:
* Susana Touwa
* Merewalesi Mataika
* Kelera Tokalau
* Menani Vukivuki
* Adi Litia Vuniwaqa
* Nellie Peters
* Kesaia Masivivi
* Annabella Peters
These Special Constable continued to serve in that capacity until mid 1970, when the Government bowed to pressure and decided to admit women as an integral part of the Police Force. Six of the Special Constable were selected with seven other to form the first batch of thirteen women recruits to undertake the course.
Change of Name
It was finally decided that the date of Independence would be the 10 th October 1970, which would be the 96 th anniversary of Fiji Cession. It had been popularly supposed that the date would be on the hundredth anniversary in 1974. For the Police it would mean a change of name to the Royal Fiji Police Force and a similar honour was conferred on the Fiji Military Forces. All the matters concerning the Fiji Police were directed to the Minister for Home Affairs.
Another Change of Name
On the 5th October 1987, Fiji was declaring a Republic, the Governor General resign and the following day the Fiji dollar was devalued. On the 15 th the Governor General agreed to become the first President of the Republic. In Vancouver the Heads of Commonwealth Governments met and declared that the Commonwealth membership of Fiji ended when the country became republic.
The immediate effect on the Police Force was that the title Royal was removed from its name.
On 15 th June 1967 the new Commissioner RTM. Henry arrived in the colony and assumed command. The new Commissioner came from Sarawak having served twenty years in the Colonial Police mostly in Malaya.
He brought a fresh concept of Police duties to Fiji, where previous Commissioner had come from the Middle East , Africa and South America. Fresh from wealthy Sarawak, he had trouble adjusting to the shortage of funds in Fiji. An early example of this was when a new building was completed at Nasova which combined classrooms for a school, now the Police Academy, and a gymnasium. When the latter was completed it was just an empty building, no estimate for equipment having been included in the budget. It was a year before the requirements for fittings were included in estimates and approved by the Legislative Council, so the building could be used for the purpose for which it was designed.
Under the heading Recruitment and Training the report for 1967 recorded for the first time a pleasing increase in academic achievements of Police recruits. In addition to Recruit course, Leadership courses for promising constables were held. It was a measure of the regard in which the Fiji Force was held by other island territories that they sent several candidates for police training during 1960s. This included both officers and men and they came from the Gilbert Islands (now Kiribati), the New Hebrides ( now Vanuatu), the Solomons and Tonga. In addition to normal police duties, fingerprinting was taught, and personnel from the New Hebrides also attended anti burglary course.
Other courses designed for Fiji Police personnel were a basic clerical English course and technical courses carried out at the Derrick Technical Institute (now part of FIT). Life saving courses resulted in Training School Staff being awarded two examiner Certificates and one Instructor Certificate., ion addition to 46 lesser certificates gained by trainees. This increase in achievement was made possible when for the first time there were proper classrooms. Classes were introduced in map reading and unarmed combat, In addition to the activities at the school, training in law, police duties and riot drill were held weekly at all stations.
Overseas courses were curtailed due to shortage of funds for that purpose, but extra courses were held at the Police Training School with local personnel as instructors. One such course was for Police prosecutors, but personnel from other Ministries were invited to attend as they were now prosecuting cases that came under their Ministerial responsibility.
Apart from a number of senior officers taking management courses at the University of the South Pacific, a record number of officers and NCOÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s attended courses overseas in 1977. Twelve gazetted officers and four officers Inspectorate Officers attended courses or Seminars in the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan and France while a detective sergeant and a constable were at the end of 1977, continuing a course at the National Police HQ, Wellington, in Fingerprinting and photography. At the Fiji Police Training School at Nasova, 3 recruit courses, 1 junior investigating officer courses were held in addition to driving school.
Changes of Names
1906 - Police Depot
1973 - Police Training College
1989 - Fiji Police Academy (Old curricular still in use)
1997 - Fiji Police Academy (Competency Based Training introduced by Aust Aid but old structure still in use)
2003 - Introduction of the new structure
3 Deputy Commandant
2006 - Introduction of the Blueprint
A Blueprint for Future Development of the Fiji Police Training Academy [Prepared by John Murray in 2005]
Introduction and Purpose
This Review has been undertaken as a Comprehensive analysis of the Fiji Police Training Academy (FPTA) and to make recommendations for positioning the Academy to meet the current and future learning and development needs of the Fiji Police. In the limited time available for this review it was considered that the most effective way of addressing the Terms of Relevance was to prepare as a Blueprint which could form the foundation for the direction of future work to be done.
In preparing this blueprint the order of the Terms of reference has been changed to accommodate a natural flow from strategic to tactical issues. Each issue is considered in a risk assessment format and recommendations are provided in terms of priority and importance.
This Review was conducted over three weeks in Suva. The time limit restricted the methodology to:
Research of Academy organizational and administrative materials;
Research of Academy materials relative to course and curricula design, course critiques, and assessments;
Semi structure interviews within Fiji Police which focused on the executive, management, supervisory and other ranks.
Semi structured interviews with key stakeholders
Consultation with key consultants who have specialized in Pacific Policing and the data gathered and interpreted in the context of the Fiji Police being committed to community policing.
STRATEGIC POSITIONING AND MANAGEMENT
Addressing the Terms of Reference
The mission, vision and strategic planning arrangements for the FPTA;
The effectiveness of the processes and procedures for financial management of the FPTA, including the links between FPTA budgeting, funding and broader organizational goals
For a police service to be able to identify its educational and training requirements it must first determine community needs and expectations. While there is a strategic Plan for the Academy to link the training curricula to the strategic Plan
A police organisation needs to be aware of community expectations and in turn have in place training and development strategies. This should be ongoing since the Environment is constantly changing. If this is not done, the Business Plan of the Academy will not fully address the training needs of police and they will insufficiently skilled to meet community expectations. If an Academy business plan is not in place the curricula and its budgetary allocation will tend to be ad hoc and simply based on what had been allocated the previous year.
Mission , Vision and Strategic Planning
The work done on the Fiji Police Strategic Plan is commendable. It draws from a comprehensive environment scan which has taken into account the needs/expectations of the whole community. To enhance this body of community knowledge, and so as to maintain an ongoing corporate awareness of what training needs are required, a standing body of advisors could be established.
At this time there is no Academy Business Plan and accordingly no formal link to the Fiji Police Strategic Plan. Course/curricula design, therefore, tends to be intuitive and simply repeated each year with minor changes. An academy Business Plan should receive its strategic direction from the Fiji Police Strategic Plan, for the establishing of appropriate courses. This in turn could be over sighted by a reconstituted Police Training Advisory Committee (POLTAC) so as to complete the training analysis loop.
There are five schools at the Academy namely:
School of Leadership & Management
School of Investigation & Intelligent
School of Community Policing
School Of Operation
School of Detective Training
All school have their own Head of School
Head of Training & Support Unit.
Oversee the smooth running of the Administration part of the training institution
Overview of the Training Curriculam
All schools have their own curriculum based on the field of expertise.
Courses run from January to December according to the Training Calendar.
In house training for instructors
Act as central access point for research and other material on police issues, management and methods.