By BARNEY ORERE PONDROS
LAW and order remains an imminent threat to positive socio-economic changes that are poised to transform Papua New Guinea, and with police resource and manpower stretched, the public must “rise up” and participate in addressing issues.
Acting Deputy Police Commissioner Raphael Huafolo echoed protracted sentiments that the police were stretched and were achieving results because of strategic management “but can achieve more with the support of the public”.
“The country is experiencing socio-economic changes and all Papua New Guineans should embrace the opportunities brought on by the LNG project, amongst others and strive to improve their lives,” he said.
“We have limited resources but we are operating strategically to accommodate all the requirements in our planning to ensure we handle law and order situations,” he said.
Mr Huafolo believed community participation in addressing law and order problems could advocate change.
“As a nation, we all have a morale and social obligation of upholding law and order in our society,” he urged and made an appeal to leaders and educated elites in communities to echo these sentiments to the people.
He also said a lot of businesses had been supportive with cash and kind and that there had been support forthcoming, but there was a need for more.
He made these calls during a press conference yesterday, responding to a barrage of threats being circulated in an email against Asian-owned cottage industries.
The email that has been in circulation for the last couple of months has been described by police as “unlawful” and one that has caused “undue stress and anxiety in the minds off all entrepreneurs throughout the country”.
In the email, Dec 31, is the date set by an unidentified person or persons propagating an imminent anti-Asian uprising that “ordinary citizens … grassroots” will take to the streets to ensure all Asian-owned cottage businesses will be exterminated.
But Mr Huafolo, in condemning the barrage of threats, has issued a stern warning that “police will come down hard on troublemakers”.
He cited this instance as an example where the public could participate in addressing law and order issues by calling police hotline numbers and providing any intelligence.
“Through public support, such threats will not prevail and there are a lot of responsible people across the nation who are willing to support us,” he said.
Mr Huafolo also cited that with the recent prison breaks and with hundreds of hardcore fugitives at large, the public could play a significant role in assisting police recapture them and put them behind bars.
Mr Huafolo, backed by NCD and Central province commander, Chief Supt Awan Sete and NCD operations boss, Supt Andy Bawa, also praised the police Crime Stoppers television awareness programme saying it has achieved results and urged the public to make use of the telephone numbers given to supply police intelligence.