24 Oct 2006

Vanuatu police confronted with growing crime in urban areas

7:33 pm on 24 October 2006

Vanuatu's acting deputy police commissioner says the country needs a holistic approach to solving the growing crime problem in urban centres.

A recent spate of burglaries in the capital Port Vila has seen thieves using bold measures and sohpisticated equipment to break into residences and businesses to steal valuable goods.

The Daily Post reports that increasing evidence of organised crime has prompted victims to warn all residents of the capital to take extra steps to ensure their homes are safe.

Lieutenant Colonel Arthur Caulton says police do not believe it is one organised gang operating, but says urban drift has resulted in a growing youth criminal element in the towns.

"Unless there is an immediate approach to addressing people in the rural areas, picking up infrastructure whereby people can stay back in the rural areas, and enjoy life in the rural areas, people will still come to Port Vila or Lugainville and end up doing nothing else but start stealing from other people."

Lt Col Arthur Caulton