109 drug cases involving children – police

Pt. Vishnu Deo Memorial kindergarten students celebrate International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Traffi cking (IDADAIT) in Raiwaqa, Suva yesterday. Picture: JONA KONATACI

The Fiji Police Force says there have been 109 drug cases involving children below the age of 18 years over the past five years.

In response to queries from The Fiji Times, they said this included cases from January to May this year.

The drug offences included unlawful cultivation, unlawful possession and unlawful supply of illicit drugs.

According to police, the highest number of drug cases involving juveniles was recorded in 2019 with 32 cases – 31 of which involved the unlawful possession of illicit drugs and one case of unlawful cultivation of illicit drugs.

In 2020, 29 cases were recorded, 18 cases were recorded in 2021, 16 in 2018, while 2017 recorded the lowest with eight cases.

However, between the months of January and May of this year alone, six cases involving juveniles found in possession of illicit drugs have already been recorded.

While unlawful possession of illicit drugs was of concern – with 101 cases in the past five years, illicit drug cultivation by children below the age of 18 was also worrying as seven cases were recorded within that same time period.

Police also said 71 juvenile drug cases involving 17-year-olds were recorded within the five-year period, 20 cases involved children who were 16, 10 involved 15-year-olds, there were seven cases involving 14-year-olds and one 13-year-old in 2019.

In terms of division, the West recorded the highest with 42 cases followed by the Southern Division with 32, North with 22, eight from the East and Central Division recording the least with five cases.

The report said that all the cases were detected – which meant the suspect was identified and charges were laid.

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