JAMES APA GUMUNO
ABOUT 90% of the problems police encounter in Mt Hagen, Western Highlands province, are related to alcohol, it was revealed yesterday.
Mt Hagen police commander Insp Peter Roari said the provincial administration was issuing liquor licences “left, right and centre”.
He said there was no liquor licensing board to control and monitor sales as there had been no meeting between the authority and the police for the past eight years to screen applications for liquor licences.
He said many “beer clubs” were sprouting up in residential areas, and causing disturbances.
“I don’t know whether there are liquor licensing inspectors in the city or not, if they do exist, I don’t know them,” he told The National.
“Many residents have complained about the noise from the clubs.
“We can help to enforce the Liquor Licencees Act upon receiving formal complaints from the liquor inspectors.”
Insp Roari said there was a liquor ban in the province but alcohol outlets were still popping all over the city.
He said the police were confused whether these places were authorised to sell alcohol since there was no liquor board.
“Because of the ban, many club owners took advantage of the situation to get rich overnight,” he said.
Insp Roari believes that Mt Hagen would be more peaceful and a safer place if a proper liquor board was established and sales of alcohol controlled.
“The same should apply in other parts of the province,” he said.