Increasing public concerns are being raised about alleged aggressive behavior by members of the Vanuatu Police Force (VPF) during operations also involving members of the Municipal wardens and the Department of Customs and Rates and Taxes on the roads of Port Vila to check vehicles.

The most recent of those operations was held Friday night last week to check vehicles mainly for possession of valid documents – insurance, driver’s licence, road tax and vehicle registration.

Vehicles found without the valid documents were confiscated by the operations teams that included the Vanuatu Mobile Force, the police traffic unit, and the Port Vila Municipal. The operation also included officers of the Department of Customs and Inland Revenue.

The confiscated vehicles, many times in their hundreds, were taken to the Port Vila cemetery and locked away there until the driver or owner produces the valid documents and pays the fines.

A torrent of public concerns are being voiced, many in the social media, about what many of those affected in these confiscation of vehicles describing the behaviors of the VMF members particularly as “very aggressive” and “very scary”. Some alleged the VMF, the police and members of the operation team were very uncompromising and would not listen to reasons but act aggressively toward the drivers.

There were reports that a number of elderly people were allegedly dragged out of their vehicles and assaulted because they would not leave their vehicles for the police to drive them away. One went to hospital to receive treatment from the assaults, it was reported.

Women were forced to get out of their cars and in one incident a woman and two children were forced to walk when it was already after 9pm. Women should not be forced to walk at night because it is dangerous.

Some people were reportedly ordered to get out and their hi-lux vehicles were confiscated because the police said the drivers did not possess the “common vehicle” licence, which they say is not true and very unfair and illegal because the drivers only have the Motor Vehicle licence.

Some people were not allowed even for another person with the Common Vehicle licence to drive their vehicle home for them.

There is also the concern by some drivers and vehicle owners about the places where their vehicles were park after experiences of missing parts obviously stolen from some vehicles confiscated and locked away by the police. READ MORE