The general observation is the recent Christmas and New Year celebration is one of the quietest.

This has been attributed to the fact that the Vanuatu Police Force (VPF) was fully alert in an operation starting from 22 December 2016 to January 3 2017.

Costing Vt 1.3 million, Operation Noel 2016 saw VPF working around the clock especially in the two main urban areas of the country to maintain law and order and ensure safe celebrations.

During a press conference on Monday at the VANSEC House, Deputy Commissioner of Police Operation, Kalo Ben announced that in Port Vila along 170 cases were received by the Police and 165 were dealt with during the operation.

A total of 50 suspects were arrested during the period of the operation and 48 of the suspects were detained in Police custody.

Despite generally quiet, some serious accidents happened during the celebrations.

The Deputy Police Commissioner Operations says police are doing all they can to bring in the remaining suspects.

A serious traffic incident was also recorded where another driver attempts to ran into another vehicle to hurt its passengers. A rape case was reported in Eratap while an elderly man was hit by a bus but died a few days later.

Other reported cases were referred to as minor case dealt,including arrests of young people smoking marijuana and responsible for loud noises in public areas.

When compared the figures to the 2015 Operation Noel, there are more cases reported this year. In 2015 only 144 cases were dealt with by the Police and only 31 suspects were arrested, 28 of which were detained.

In terms of traffic, 16 vehicles were detained in the 2015/16 Operation Noel and eight accidents which resulted in three deaths. During the recent operation 28 vehicles were detained and one death recorded.

The Deputy Commissioner Police Operation said the outcome of the Operation reflects its aim, which is to ensure the safety and security of the people during the holiday season.

He said the success of the Operation reflects the professional commitment of Police Officers to respect the orders so people can celebrate in peace.

As part of the Operation the VPF crime Prevention Unit also engaged in awareness to educate the public about the importance of celebrating with responsibility towards their respective communities.

During the Operation Noel, the Police Traffic Unit conduct checks on vehicles to minimise the chances of serious road accidents. The vehicle checks result in Police collecting Vt164,000 from booking vehicles.

As the national security authority, VPF wishes to thank the Public Service Commission for providing five vehicles for Police to use during the Operation.

The VPF also acknowledges community leaders, chiefs, church leaders who comply with the awareness and took the responsibility to provide assistance to the Police, in their communities during the celebration.

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