Police have reported that crime has increased rapidly across Port Vila and Efate over the past five months.

Burglary is up by a third mostly in expats’ residences, according to police sources.

The police sources said that there are no official figures but the reported results have revealed that overall crime has increased rapidly.

They said police have recorded a huge increase in domestic burglary and vehicle offences.

There has also been an increase in possession of offensive weapons and illegal substances, an increase in sexual offences and also an increase in stalking and harassment.

“The rise in crime in Port Vila and across the country is a major concern,” police in Port Vila said.

“These figures are further evidence the government needs to change course on police funding.

“Officers at the force work around the clock to prevent and catch those who decide to commit crimes and they are facing ever greater demands from an increasing threat of terror, levels of cyber-crime and a rise in the number of reported sex offences.

“The Port Vila Police need an increase in budget.

“Some officers needed to be rated as outstandingly efficient by an Independent Inspectors on the fact that we have few officers fighting crime in the front line.

“Despite the challenges faced, we are determined to get on with the job of keeping people in Port Vila and Vanuatu safe.”

Crime rates figures in neighbouring provinces could not be obtained but there was an increase in all forms of reported offences.

Police sources confirmed to Daily Post that the figures suggested that despite the increase, police are dealing with a growing volume of crime.

“While improvements made by police forces in recording crime are still a factor in the increase, we judge that there have been genuine increases in crime – particularly in some of the low-incidence but more harmful categories”, they said.

“Police figures cannot provide a good measure of all crime in society, since we know that a large volume of it never comes to their attention.

“The recent increase in recorded crime needs to be seen in the context of the overall decline in crime indicated by a crime survey.”

Police said that enforcement alone will never stop crime from increasing but they need communities to help bringing culprits to justice