A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed yesterday by the Minister of Lands, Alfred Maoh, and the Minister of Internal Affairs, Andrew Napuat to expand the Lakatoro Police Station on Malekula.

The expansion will see the creation of a new office building to be constructed by Simeon A. Construction Company, as part of a project under the Vanuatu Australia Policing and Justice Program(VAPJ).

Under the agreement, the project will be able to occupy a space on the government-owned land at Lakatoro to build the new facility.

Minister Maoh said the agreement is an example of partnership in decentralizing police services to the provinces and community.

One of the main public concerns is having a high police presence to reduce fear in communities.

The Minister of Internal Affairs Napuat said the expansion of Lakatoro Police Post will also see further deployment of officers to the province.

He thanked the Ministry of Lands for its partnership in securing the land. He said the project is in line with the government’s vision for decentralization.

“We want to see similar arrangements applied to area councils and other services within the Ministry of Internal Affairs that need to be decentralized, even with other sectors as education and health,” he said.

The Australian Government as a development partner is applauded for providing the funds for the project under the VAPJ.

The project is expected to be rolled out to other provinces after Malampa.

The signing of the agreement yesterday was attended by the Vanuatu Police Force (VPF)’s Director of Corporate Services, Smith Tebu, VPF Chief Inspector Frazer Tambe, Lieutenant Mala Antfalo from the VPF’s Evaluation and Monitoring Unit and the Director General (DG) of the MOL, Arthur Faerua.

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