The National, Wednesday 15th May 2013
By PETER ESOP WARI
A PETITION by frustrated local leaders, PMV operators and the public to police in Hela on armed robberies at Ambua Gap along the Highlands Highway has resulted in the stationing of a 24-hour security post.
Hela leaders on Monday demanded that police take urgent measures to stop crime at the notorious section of the highway.
In response to their petition, Hela provincial police commander Supt Jimmy Onopia pulled out some policemen deployed at the PNG LNG project site to be placed at the Ambua Gap section.
Onopia told The National that despite their limited resources, his policemen were tasked to conduct two operations along the highway.
He said the first task was providing 24 hours security at Ambua Gap and the second was an operation to address people on the issue of building houses on state land along the highway and claiming compensation.
Onopia said Operation Lukautim Road was set up to work together with contractors engaged on the rehabilitation of roads in Hela as sanctioned by the provincial government.
“We have responded positively to the people’s cry and they have all vowed to help police.
“Police need support from the community to effectively carry out their tasks,” he said.
He added that police would also conduct dawn and morning raids to crack down on criminals.
“Though police had been patrolling the section, criminals are very clever; they monitor the police movement very carefully and set up roadblocks at different section,” he said.