Bishop hails Aussie officers

Main Stories, National

The National, Thursday February 6th, 2014


AN emotional Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop yesterday heaped praise on Australian Federal Police officers serving in Papua New Guinea.

Bishop, after a press conference at parliament house in Port Moresby, met some of the AFP officers serving in the capital city and heaped the kudos on them.

“We’re very proud to have a number of our AFP officers here in Port Moresby and in Lae,” she said.

“There are 50 in the contingent and this was on a request from Prime Minister (Peter) O’Neill to provide some assistance in capacity building for the Royal PNG Constabulary.

“There’s very good cooperation between our two police forces.

“I think Australian police officers will be able to make significant contribution in assisting Papua New Guineans in its efforts to achieve better standards and outcomes in law and justice.

“This country is a beautiful place to visit but people have to feel safe and secure and feel confident about being here.

“For our AFP officers to be part of that overall objective makes the Australian government very pleased to support it.”

AFP representative Insp Peter Withers said: “We’ve been in the country for about three months now.

“Our role here in PNG is capacity development of the PNG police.

“We’re in early days at this time, three months we have gained a lot of community trust, community involvement, and our members work every day with the PNG police.

“We work in the police stations, we go on foot patrols and vehicle patrols, and we’re developing a clear understanding of what the requirements are for us to assist the PNG police force.

“We will be in this country for some years and we welcome the challenge that’s before us.”