Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Kasiano Sakurau of Navutu has his shoes polished by Balau Vesikula as George Fatiaki looks on at Lautoka
POLICE are working with the Lautoka City Council to ensure that street kids are rehabilitated and kept out of trouble.
West police chief Emori Laqai said his officers in Lautoka were co-operating with the local municipality to ensure that street kids do not break the law but are also stopped from using city facilities for shelter.
Senior Superintendent Laqai said while other stakeholders were looking at the rehabilitation of the kids, it was the duty of the police to see that law and order was not compromised.
SSP Laqai said a committee at the Lautoka Police Station, headed by the officer-in-charge Rusiate Saini, was looking into the issue.
He said the main priority was for the boys not to break the law.
Council chief executive Pusp Raj said their main concern, apart from the damage the boys had done to their facilities, was to ensure that they returned to their village as refined persons.
Mr Raj said they were looking at agencies which could train shoeshine boys and sword sellers for jobs.
He said they were also working with church groups.
"We want to put them back in the community as refined persons,"he said.
He said the work would not happen overnight.
Mr Raj said they were able to remove, with police help, 15 street kids who had been living at Churchill Park for several months.
He said most of the street kids were from nearby villages and some had come from Suva.
Last week, Mayor Rohit Kumar said the boys were moved from the grandstand which they had been using as a shelter.