30 Mar 2016

Vanuatu look overseas to fill police head post

8:24 am on 30 March 2016

The Vanuatu government is to look overseas for a commissioner for its troubled police service.

Last week the acting commissioner, superintendent John Taleo, was removed from the post with colonel Robson Iavro put in the position temporarily.

Mr Taleo had been clinging on to the post since being convicted last year of causing an accident in his official car while under the influence of alcohol.

Transparency International Vanuatu's chairman Dr Willie Tokon said Vanuatu police, including its para-military arm, the VMF, have been in disarray for some time.

The Vanuatu Police Headquarters in the capital, Port Vila.

The Vanuatu Police Headquarters in the capital, Port Vila. Photo: RNZI / Jamie Tahana

He said a foreign commander could work for a time, as it has in Fiji, but in the long term they have to find a local who can both command respect and reject political interference.

"At the end of the day we need someone local, who knows the police's politics so he can stay out of politics. We need somebody with principles. Right now we don't have anyone who can exhibit that kind of quality to run the police here."

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