20 Sep 2010

New head of Vanuatu's para-military police to go back to basics

10:24 am on 20 September 2010

The new commander of the para-military police, the Vanuatu Mobile Force, says he will be emphasising the need to abide by the law in order to improve the unit's performance.

Lieutenant Colonel, Aru Maralau, took up his new position last week.

Earlier this year, the VMF was strongly criticised in a Coroner's report into the death of a prisoner in its custody, which accused the force of placing itself above the law and having a culture of violence.

Lieutenant Colonel Maralau says while he does not think a violent culture exists, he believes the conduct of officers is important.

He says he'll be taking the force back to basics.

"We have the law in place so that we do not abuse or react when we're not suppose to be. So that's one of my aims, is to make sure we do our jobs professionally rather than be criticised later. And we want the public to be behind us and everybody. So we need to do our job properly."

Aru Maralau accepts his new role will be challenging but says he will do his best.