By CARLOS ARUAFU
As the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) under 16 championship kicks off today, police say they’ll ensure there’s security for all.
Eight teams from the region are taking part in the championship, with Vanuatu taking on defending champions New Zealand in the opening match this morning.
“A total of 447 police officers will be involved in an operation to ensure law and order is maintained during the championship,” deputy police commissioner Juanita Matanga assured the public.
She said everyone going to watch the games will be searched at the Lawson Tama gates.
“This is to ensure anyone who enters the stadium does not have in their possession any alcohol or drugs and any dangerous weapon including sharp objects like scissors, screw-drivers, piece of iron, glass bottles and so forth.
“Any alcohol, drugs and dangerous items found during the searches will be confiscated and the decision to prosecute anyone found in possession of such items will depend very much on the explanation given to police officers.
“Police expect people to go there to enjoy the games with a good spirit and not to cause harm to anyone.”
She added about 50 officers from a private security company are also expect to assist the police provide security at Lawson Tama for the Championship.
“I appeal for the understanding of members of the public to respect RSIPF and local security officers who will be providing security for the duration of the games.
“Please also respect families who will be planning to go to enjoy themselves in a peaceful and safe environment at Lawson Tama,” Matanga said.
She added during the operation, officers will also be involved in traffic control, checks and foot patrols around and within the vicinity of Lawson Tama Stadium to ensure traffic flow is managed.
“Any illegal acts intended to disturb the occasion will be dealt with according to the laws of the country,” Matanga warned.
The tournament will end on September 22.