Reports from Vanuatu say police on Santo failed to assist people who were being attacked by a group of men allegedly under the influence of alcohol.
Residents of Sarakata in Luganville town say the group smashed a retail shop and seriously injured a young woman as police declined to intervene.
The reports say two girls ran to the closest sub-police post to beg for help but were told the police had no fuel to drive to Sarakata which is about 400 metres away.
They then reportedly ran to the Luganville Police Station and were also told there was no fuel.
The men are reported to have damaged the shop after the owner refused to open it at half past two in the morning to sell them cigarettes.