Alcohol the evil that fuels Lae’s rising crime problem: Police


THE abuse of alcohol has contributed to a lot of problems in Lae, says Metropolitan Superintendent Anthony Wagambie Jr.
Wagambie said so many fights, disturbances and violence had happened in the industrial city when people were under the influence of alcohol.
Wagambie, who was transferred from East New Britain to head Lae’s metropolitan police command three years ago, said things got worse with the production of illicit spirits known as “steam”.
A similar concern was raised by the city’s law and order chairman Sam Oyaya two weeks ago following the killing of a police reservist at a settlement in Lae.
Wagambie said alcohol abuse was a law-and-order problem as well as a social problem so it required a concerted effort to deal with.
“A lot of problems we face in the city are the result of abuse of alcohol,” Wagambie said.
“A lot of murders, burning down of houses and fights are a result of abuse of alcohol. People under the influence of alcohol think that they can do anything at will.”
Wagambie said the production and consumption of steam needed to stop.
“Police in Lae will be embarking on an operation to identify and minimise areas where people are distilling illicit spirits,” he said.
Wagambie said police needed the support of the public to arrest people who were producing and selling illicit spirits in communities.