9 Jul 2003

Tough action by Vanuatu police commissioner wins plaudits

3:18 pm on 9 July 2003

The Chief of Staff for Vanuatu's police commissioner says there is a lot of support for a campaign cracking down on wayward officers.

Since Robert Diniro Obed assumed the commissioner's position several months ago he has suspended around 17 officers of various ranks.

Most recently he stood down the acting commander in Luganville, Chief Inspector Robert Boe, for allegedly using money that was court exhibit and loaning a police vehicle to a suspended officer.

The Chief of Staff, Major Aru Maralau, says five junior staff have been reinstated but around 12 others are waiting to have their cases to be heard by the police services commission.

He says the Commissioner has won both public and police backing for his campaign and more suspensions are possible.

"nobody is immune from suspension..if someone has done something wrong then you need to be out of the office so they can come and investigate.."

Major Maralau says the PSC can sack, reprimand, fine or demote officers.