“Everyone should have a sense of belonging about the community they are staying in and the desire to keep it free of crime”.
These are the sentiments of the President of the Kinoya Old Boys Association Mr Kinivuwai Koroibulileka when asked about their involvement in the Fiji Police Force’s Duavata Community Policing campaign.
The Association which is commonly known as KOBA, was formed in 2009 by a group of residents who were concerned with the involvement of youths in criminal activities.
“We wanted to find a way to keep Kinoya from being known as a community where residents became victims of crime or the residents were committing crimes so KOBA was formed to not only operate as a crime prevention committee but to also look at how as residents we can help each other”.
Mr Koroibulileka said they wanted to bring Kinoya residents together so they had a better understanding of what was happening in their communities.
“Our work goes beyond that of assisting Police to fight crime, but it also looks at other social factors such as helping the elderly and those who need help in life in general”.
“We are able to offer help because we are aware of what is happening in Kinoya, know the people living here and help them in times of trouble”.
Kinoya Community Post Officer Corporal Alipate Vasuinubu said working with KOBA has been very effective.
“Crime in the Kinoya area has dropped significantly and we have had reductions in serious offences and for the last month we were able to record the lowest number of reported crimes in the Valelevu area of operation”.
“This is largely due to an active crime prevention team through KOBA because the community here is always looking out for each other and are always ready to assist”.
The Kinoya Community Post area of operation covers more than 2,400 households and is looked after by seven officers.
Cprl Vasuinubu said a key element in the success of the Duavata Community Policing campaign was the residents’ willingness to work with Police.
“In the afternoons you will have young and old gathered here at the Post to enjoy a game of volleyball and we can see by the personal interactions they have that they care about each other’s wellbeing”.
“After the game we would sit around and talk and this gave us the opportunity to learn more about what was happening with them and they can also hear from us about any concerns the Fiji Police Force may have”.
KOBA President Mr Koroibulileka said the first step to try and reduce crime was to appreciate and understand those living in your community.
“The Association is not only made up of current residents but those who have moved away to other parts of Fiji like myself and some have moved overseas, however we continue to assist Police because we want to keep the community we were born and raised in free of crime”.
“I believe the success of keeping crime down is because as current and former residents we know and treat each other as family. Just as you would not want any harm to fall upon your loved ones, we also wouldn’t want our neighbors to suffer or become a victim of crime and this is why KOBA continues to actively work with Police”.