THE year 2021 saw the death of many prominent citizens.
We also witnessed a sharp surge in crime and lawlessness.
The year ended with the death of Papua New Guinea’s notorious and most wanted criminal Tommy Baker.
Policemen and women should be commended for their efforts.
Crime should not be addressed by the police only.
Crime was never part of the Melanesian society.
Most violent crimes in terms of bank robberies, vehicle theft, sea piracy and others involving money and properties, food items, marketable goods and so forth are committed by those who find themselves at the edge of the society.
It somewhat displays the class warfare between the have-nots against the haves.
This disparity is shown in the urban streets and settlements in PNG’s urban centres.
We need to realise that the level of crimes committed is a manifestation of the kind of society a nation creates and serious thoughts and considerations have to be given to address the root causes of such evil.
The level of lawlessness has been a social indicator of the impacts of governance on a society and its citizens by governments, to be precise.
To think crime is only caused by those at the fringes of the society can be a big mistake.
In PNG, the escalating white collar or official corruption has never been addressed stringently by the appropriate law enforcement organisations over the years, thus, making citizens lose trust in the government system.
Crime involving stealing and abuse of public monies starts from the top, it trickles down to the masses and comes in various forms and capacities.
When the big fishes can bend and exploit the law and the system for their own greed and expect no forms of retaliatory repercussions from the society, especially the youths, to come-about, has been a big mistake over the years.
It is time for leaders to wake up and face the reality.
In fact, the level and types of crimes now taking place in PNG, especially in the urban centres, are deeply entranced and professionally organised.
Those who benefit from these crimes are not only the criminals and their immediate dependents but other many rogue law enforcement officers who look forward to benefit from the loots or spoils either directly or indirectly.
Crimes committed in urban PNG has gone to that extent.
The Government has passed a number of important legislation or laws such as the Whistle Blowers Act, the Independent Commission Against Corruption Act and the Dangerous Drug Act.
Included also are the existing laws such as the Leadership Code for the leaders and other laws addressing crime.
To date, the nation is kept in suspense whether these laws have been fully implemented especially on those official culprits so they can face justice as what our youths involved in crimes are lawfully encountering.
Is PNG a just society?
Is the system fair to every citizen?
The Government, through its relevant agencies need to be more sensitive and attentive to this reality confronting our nation.
Maybe we should change our education system and allow those with lower grades proceed to technical colleges and institutions to be taught a trade.
Maybe we should allow all grade 12 school leavers to spend extra two years in the military to be taught discipline and order. Maybe the nations should develop massive agricultural farms for export purposes so that these industries can absorb our growing youth population through formal and informal employment opportunities.
These are suggestive approaches to this growing problem.
The new government after 2022 national election should create a specialised department that can address all aspects of these growing problems confronting our young men who are resorting to crime as a way of living.
Emmanuel Allen Mungu,
Son of Finschhafen