Attack on Turi uncalled for

Editorial, Normal

The National, Friday February 19th, 2016

 THE attempted bombing of National Capital District Metropolitan Superintendent Benjamin Turi’s residence in Gerehu yesterday morning must be condemned in the strongest possible manner.

It was a cowardly attack that must be fully investigated and the culprits apprehended to face the full force of the law.

Although Turi’s family was shell-shocked by incident, the city’s top cop remains unscathed, saying it was related to the tough stand that the NCD police command was taking on undisciplined officers and rogue cops. 

“I am not scared by what they did. We will investigate this incident, get down to the bottom of it and those who are involved will face the full force of the law,” he told The National.

Police Commissioner Gari Baki supported Turi’s comments on the likely motive. “We are off the view that it may be inter-related to the hard line stand that the Metropolitan Superintendent and the Divisional Commander are taking in NCD.” 

Baki indicated that the incident could be related to recent threats issued to other senior police officers.

It seems obvious that the perpetrators have an axe to grind against Turi, who has instilled discipline and restored respect in the city police force since his appointment in October last year.

There’s no doubt that Turi has brought the winds of change to the NCD police. 

The adage, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going” aptly applies to Turi’s style of operations.

Turi has worked tirelessly to address key law and order issues in the city, particularly police brutality. He began with all officers under his command declaring firearms in their possession. 

Many undisciplined officers and rogue cops found themselves under suspension and off the payroll.

Turi has worked hard at revamping the tattered police image as well as enhancing his public and media relations. 

He continues to warn business entities and city residents to be cautious of police personnel entering their premises and homes without authorised search warrants.

Turi’s announcement before Christmas that there won’t be a liquor ban in the NCD and Central during the festive season was a pleasant surprise and hailed by many.

He had indeed turned a new leaf in the police operations book by placing the trust in people to celebrate responsibly.

By all accounts, most residents enjoyed peaceful celebrations during the Christmas-New Year period. 

And the heavy police presence, especially night beat patrols and traffic roadblocks, ensured that lawlessness, public disturbances and reckless behaviour were kept to a minimum.

NCD residents were also heartened to hear that their city had been divided into three police district commands, which will be headed by district superintendents who will answer to the metropolitan superintendent.

Though overdue, this initiative was a significant development for police operations in the nation’s capital whose population has soared to more than half a million people in the past few years.

The three main stations are Badili for the Moresby South district, Gordon for the Moresby North-East district and Waigani for the Moresby North-West district.

Significant funding will be needed to fully implement this decentralisation process, which equates to larger numbers of police personnel, vehicles and other equipment for the new district stations.

The NCD police command will agree that it is pointless decentralising or reorganisating police operations in the NCD without appropriate funding by the Government.

While the police commissioner and his minister will seeking budgetary assistance for this project, it must emphasised that effective policing in the suburbs and settlements is essential for the success of police operations in the capital city.

Residents feel safe and secure when they see regular police presence around the city. Moreover, they want police to attend to their complaints much quicker – that is the essence of effective policing.

Crime will always be the dark of life in a growing city like Port Moresby but effective measures must be taken by the Government and its relevant agencies such as the Police Force to keep these illegal activities under control.

Therefore, the initiative to decentralise police operations in the NCD is a major step forward in the fight against crime and lawlessness in this city and country.

The senior police officer who will champion this cause is none other than Benjamin Turi who has the support and respect of all law-abiding NCD residents.