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Papua New Guinea: Deterioration of the Police force a concern

Transparency International PNG (TIPNG) is gravely concerned about the serious deterioration of the Police force throughout Papua New Guinea.

TIPNG Chairman Mr Peter Aitsi said certain rouge members of the police force are fast becoming glorified security guards with their services being paid for by people and organisations with money and questioned if it was not the job of the Police to uphold our Constitution and laws?

Mr Aitsi said, “ The functions of the police is to protect the people of Papua New Guinea, and upholding the Laws of PNG in an impartial and objective manner is an obligation and responsibility placed on the police through the constitution.

He quoted the long serving police officer, John Mombre’s statement in the Post Courier in late January this year of the rampant corruption in the police force, adding that 99 per cent of policemen who breach traffic rules in PNG do not get arrested.

He further cited the recent incident of the public witnessing a young security guard from a private company owned by a senior police officer brandishing a police issued firearm as confirmed by the police investigators.

Allowing the security guard to possess a police issued firearm equates to a conflict of interest on the part of the senior police officer and seriously contravenes the public service general orders amounting to illegal and unauthorized use or theft of a government asset (the firearm). The Police Commissioner as a constitutional office holder should demonstrate and take appropriate action where necessary to ensure this suspended senior officer is fully investigated and appropriate action taken.

Another example of conflict of interest is the alleged involvement of a Hire Car company owned by the Police Minister engaged to supply vehicles to the police department. The Police Commissioner should investigate the tendering process involved to engage the Ministers company with the police

TIPNG says lack of initiative to lead reforms within the police force has contributed significantly to the deterioration of the force to a point where only strong transparent management from the top can ensure true disciplined policing.

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