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SUVA, Fiji Islands (August 11, 1998 - Radio Australia)---Fiji Foreign Minister Beranado Vunibobo says a growth in the crime rate throughout the Pacific suggests that there is still much improvement to be made to police forces in the region.

Addressing the South Pacific Chiefs of Police Conference in Nadi, Mr. Vunibobo said police recruitment and training in the region are still largely traditional, adding that necessary changes are inevitable.

The Minister says in Fiji alone, the police force is about to enter one of its most difficult periods with new accountability and governance rules required under the new constitution.

The week long conference is discussing a range of policing issues, including prevention of child abuse, cross-border crime and intelligence gathering.

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