Yaren, NAURU – July 1, 2020: 12:42pm (NAURU GOVT): Nauru President Lionel Aingimea addressed members of the Nauru Police Force (NPF) and the crowd assembled to witness the first of a series of police parade and discipline sequence at the government office complex, emphasising police pride, public safety and changes to be expected in sex offender laws, 30 June.
The president said the new era of the professional Nauru Police Force will be an era where wearing the police uniform brings pride to those who wear it, as well as advancement through hard work and academic diligence, but also a worthwhile career path that will mean being an NPF officer â€œyou are Nauruâ€™s finest.â€
President Aingimea said 01 July marks a new direction, new strategic plan and new vision for the NPF and their foundational work that â€œfalls within the ambit of the motto to â€˜serve and protectâ€™ is safety.â€
â€œThe safety of the public, the safety of property, the safety of the police officer should always be the foundational imperatives in our duty of serving and protecting,â€ the president said, then referenced a motorcyclist driving without a helmet.
â€œThat person has broken the law.
â€œTo allow a person to drive without a helmet is to jeopardise the safety of the public, in particular, that person.â€
The president said the overall safety principle is the genesis of the laws that the government will be changing, in particular, two â€œmajor changesâ€ to laws relating to sex offences.
â€œThe new laws will include and not limited to making it extremely difficult if you are a sex offender, to be bailed. That any remand period is not to be taken as a discount in any sentence.â€
The due process of laws governing juvenile sex offenders will also change whereby being a juvenile will no longer be an element of mitigation.
In a strongly-termed example, President Aingimea said a juvenile who can â€œdrive a motorbike and use that motorbike as a means of enticing a young girl and then raping her is no juvenile.â€
â€œThe sentences are lengthy enough on sex offenders but we will take out all that which has been used by many to have a sex offender walk away with a lighter jail term,â€ the president warned. Today also marks the new special salary scale for teachers, health care workers and police officers.
The governmentâ€™s overall vision for the NPF is to be the â€œbest officers, the most professional police officers, the most respected police officers, and the most hard working police officers.â€
Laws will also be amended to ensure police officers are protected in the execution of their duties, but there will also be strict penalties for officers who abuse their power and â€œbring disrepute to the uniformâ€ and to fellow officers.
Recruitment will also change, elevating the minimum school leaving level and advancement in pay and rank based on years of experience as well as qualification.
â€œGone are the days of nepotism, deceit, dishonesty, unfair practice, gone are the days of this being a job because I cannot get another job elsewhere,â€ the president said.
The 30 minute police parade and discipline sequence was outfitted with 80 police officers including members of the brass band. The parade will be a three-monthly event. (PACNEWS)