Vanuatu Update

McGlade, AlanVanuatu’s current population of around 223,000, of whom around 75-80% live in the outlying villages and islands and rest in the capital centre of Port Vila makes for a very interesting outlook on mentoring Police.

The primary focus is on working alongside the Port Vila Central Police and seeing any positive work ‘mushroom’ from this core approach,” says Senior Sergeant Alan McGlade.

This was Alan’s second deployment to the country. “The challenges facing Vanuatu have some great potential and this gives me plenty of opportunity to provide guidance, assistance and advice.”

One of the key issues is the introduction of the new Family Protection Act 2009. This piece of legislation has taken around ten years to finally make its way into law and the very traditional values held by many of the population has resulted in some strong opposition to the act.

The whole approach to this legislation is very similar to the response to the New Zealand “Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007” (Anti-smacking legislation), and it has generated significant and fairly ‘healthy’ debate around the whole topic of abuse. Although the legislation is now ‘cemented’ the actual enforcement of the law is a whole new challenge and there is much to do to make this very valuable piece of legislation work   Some great opportunities exist to provide good quality training for Police, judicial agencies and community groups over the coming months.

The Family Protection Unit currently consists of a Detective Senior Sergeant Davis Saravanu, Detective Sergeant Jeanne Thomas and Detective Redford David. One of the most exciting projects currently in progress is the development of the new Police Family Protection Unit office on the CID floor of the Port Vila Police station. All the necessary planning has taken place and as soon as the Police Commissioner has signed off our MOU we will be in a position to get started on the new office renovations.

The current Family Protection Unit (FPU) is similar to NZ Child and Adult Sexual Abuse Teams in that they come under the CID and their focus is the investigation of all sexual abuse cases. With the involvement of the PPDVP we will be creating a new Domestic Violence Investigation Team who will become part of the current FPU. The investigation teams are excited and very positive about the developments with the group.  They will benefit from working alongside NZ Police who have already developed systems and processes in this very area and can provide some timely and valuable guidance and training in this field.

As a result of a recent crime prevention conference Police have launched a new National Crime Prevention Committee led by Superintendent Daniel Rakau and guided by the Capacity Building Project. This committee is made up of government and non-government agencies and meets regularly to look at all aspects of crime prevention initiatives and a wide range of systems and processes where improvements could be made. It is early days for the committee but again this has great potential.

This year will see the retirement of the current Police Commissioner and a new senior officer take his place. On behalf of NZ Police, Alan passed his best wishes to the Commissioner on his retirement after many years of commitment to the Police.

“Aside from the project work and daily challenges that we work with overseas this is such a great opportunity for me to visit and be part of such a different culture and to be welcomed into the country to experience Policing in a completely different environment.”.

Senior Sergeant Alan McGlade
Vanuatu Mentor

Pacific Prevention of Domestic Violence Programme is powered by Amanzi Online
%d bloggers like this: