The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has this week provided Toyota LandCruisers, quad bikes, IT equipment and uniforms to the Vanuatu Police Force (VPF) as part of ongoing assistance to support and improve VPF’s reach and coverage across the archipelagic nation.
The AFP, through the Vanuatu Australia Policing and Justice Program (VAPJP), supplied four LandCruisers that will be sent to four different provinces to improve the VPF’s mobility footprint.
The additional vehicles will take the VPF’s LandCruiser fleet to six, after the AFP provided the first two vehicles last year. The vehicles have so far helped the VPF to respond to community members in areas damaged by Tropical Cyclones Judy and Kevin, assist the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) communications network roll-out and provide visible patrols during the 2022 snap election. The extra mobility also enabled the VPF to ensure the security and safety of communities that had previously been unable to access police resources.
The VPF has also received four quad bikes, which will be based at newly created police posts in Port Vila and Northern Vanuatu, including at the airport.
AFP Deputy Commissioner International and Specialist Capabilities, Lesa Gale said the vehicles would enhance the VPF’s capability to keep the communities of Vanuatu safe and secure.
“Our enduring partnership, demonstrated by the VAPJP, reinforces our commitment to meet the needs of Vanuatu and the VPF,” Deputy Commissioner Gale said.
“It is a privilege for AFP members to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the VPF, as we have done for many years, and will continue to do.
“By working together we can improve the safety of communities throughout our Pacific region.”
Uniforms and IT equipment have also been donated to VPF as part of the AFP’s Pacific Initiatives, which was established earlier this year to help uplift the VPF’s capability by providing support and funding.
The VPF has received 10 desktop computers and 10 laptops, uniforms and bags for UN deployment training, 12 new suits for new detectives and 2,000 sets of shoulder epaulettes.
VPF Commissioner Robson Iavro thanked the AFP for its continued partnership.
“The AFP has done so much for the VPF and has stood by us during both good times and bad as a close friend,” Commissioner Iavro said.
“I want to say thank you to the AFP for its continuous support to the VPF.”
While in Vanuatu, Deputy Commissioner Gale had the opportunity to observe specialist training programs at VPF’s Police Training College, including the Detective Training Program and Public Order Management.
AFP specialist officers as well as police officers from Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands are working closely with VPF to deliver the training courses.