15 Feb 2011

Corruption watchdog highlights Vanuatu police delays

5:52 pm on 15 February 2011

Vanuatu's corruption watchdog says local police are sloppy, unprofessional and disrespectful to the courts in delaying bringing alleged offenders to justice.

Transparency International's Marie-Noelle Ferrieux-Patterson says at a recent court hearing she attended, 11 alleged offenders were due to appear but neither they nor the police showed up despite warrants for their arrest.

Ms Ferrieux-Patterson says the cases involved mostly serious sex crimes.

One victim now wants charges dropped after the failure of police to execute a nine year old warrant.

"And they are not explaining why and I think that's probably the worst because they are receiving a court order, they are receiving warrants of arrest and if they are facing difficulties because maybe these people are all about the place, they should come back to the Public Prosecutor and explain their difficulties."

Transparency International's Marie-Noelle Ferrieux-Patterson.

Vanuatu police have not been available for comment.