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C4J Praises Police for Taking Action against Police Brutality

Lt. Col Robson Iavro...Vanuatu Police Commissioner

Campaign for Justice praises the efforts of the Police Commissioner Lt. Colonel Iavro Robson for acting swiftly on allegations of police brutality in Santo by suspending 14 police officers involved in the raids that took place last month in Big Bay where scores of people – including a Baptist pastor, were reported to have been badly assaulted; and homes set alight.

The action by the police hierarchy to suspend the officers concerned and allow for due process of investigation to be instigated into the conduct of his men is a breath of fresh air that the public highly welcome. It shows that the police care about their own reputation as a law enforcement agency of the government and that they can be trusted.

The suspensions – to allow for formal investigations to be conducted, will only ensure police officers live by their high standards, and keep them honest.

If, as a result of their own investigations, reports of unlawful activities are proven to be correct, the Police Commissioner and the Police Service Commissioner should not be hesitant in taking the ultimate action of terminating the services those concerned if they are genuinely interested in restoring public confidence in police work in the northern town.

We stress that such reports reflect very poorly on the image of the police. In addition, the Police Act does not give them any license to use excessive force to carry out their duties.

We at Campaign for Justice have been trying to get authorities to stem the tide of impunity and negligence that is the sad reality of that Northern Police Command Centre to no avail.

Sadly, it’s the sort of thing that creates fear amongst the population, especially women and children. No one feels safe there when they hear the sound of a police siren these days – ironic, when one considers that the police own favorite catchphrase is ‘polis hemi fren blong yu.’

We do hope justice is accorded to those to deserve it and the culprits face the full force of the law.

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