The Fiji Police Force has refuted claims that a 5-year-old boy spent a night in custody in Tavua Police Station with his parents after they were jointly charged for an assault case.
Chief Operations Officer, Assistant Commissioner of Police Livai Driu in a statement said a newspaper article headlined “Boy sleeps in cell” is factually incorrect.
“The article claims that the five year old child was forced to sleep overnight at the Tavua Police Station which was never the case.”
“We would like to clarify that on the 30th of March at around 6.30pm the child’s parents were brought in for questioning in relation to a pending case of an alleged assault.”
“The two were brought in a police vehicle and at no time was their son with them whilst they were being escorted to the Tavua Police Station, or during the questioning process which ended after 9pm where they were formally charged.”
ACP Driu said it was upon the completion of the questioning process, the child was seen at the Station who was brought in by a relative.
“Police officers then advised both parents that their son could not stay with them overnight and asked that he return with the relative as they would be kept in custody overnight and be produced the next day.”
“The officers did all they could to safely return the child to the relative, who refused and therefore agreed for both mother and child to stay together.”
“Both were never kept in a cell, but officers quickly made arrangements for mother and child to stay in the Tavua Police Conference room where they spent the night and were also allowed to move around in the Station.”
ACP Driu has assured members of the public that if there is any truth to the claims of abuse of authority then it would be investigated and the officer(s) responsible will be dealt with.
“However, the claims made in this article were false and we would like to set the record straight.”