Brutality, violence must be addressed

Letters, Normal

The National – Thursday, June 16, 2011

Brutality and violence must be condemned, regardless of who is involved.
Law enforcement agencies, such as police, must be mindful of how they deal with this issue.
I raise this in response to a report titled “Wagambie to review guard training laws” (The National, June 3).
The article was a follow-up story to allegations that drunken BSP guards had bashed up several youths. 
In the article, Wagambie was quo­ted saying “no one is above the law”.
He also went on to say “the guards should be sacked” and that MoU with companies like BSP, Air Niugini, Ok Tedi, Porgera and others will be reviewed.
NCD metropolitan commander Supt Joseph Tondop said “obviously the guards acted outside their line of duty”.
Perusing the article, I have several issues I would like to raise.
The comments by Wagambie and Tondop are lame and irresponsible and outside of their jurisdiction, in regards to the “allegations” levelled against the BSP guards.
The reason is that investigations are taking place and their comments should not be judgmental and should focus on the investigation.
Police enforce the law and must act without fear or favour, pride or prejudice and not act outside of their perimeters as stipulated by law. 
It is not their role to be judge.
The judiciary is the final arbiter, including the determination of guilt or innocence of a person or persons charged.
I do not want to comment on the issue itself because I believe BSP, as a responsible corporate citizen, will ensure investigations are thorough and if allegations are proven, those responsible will be dealt with accor­dingly.
Police reservists employed by companies not only protect their principle organisations, but also assist when there is a need in enforcing the law and maintaining peace, law and order in the communities and streets, in the absence or delay of regular police. 
It is a fact that our police are underfunded, under-resourced and ill-equipped to provide much-needed support and presence of police reservist in the community.  
Furthermore, it is unfortunate that Wagambie and Tondop chose to make such hasty comments.
BSP, for instance, through its community projects have helped renovate police stations, renovate health clinics and administrative buildings in police premises and barracks. 
Other corporate organisations have done other worthy things and it is unfair to “bite the hand that feeds you”.
Having said that, I would like to ask Wagambie why he had been so silent since notorious bank robber William Nanua Kapris named several politicians under oath.
What are police doing about these serious allegations?
Will there be an investigation? 
Are these politicians above the law?
Tondop said “no one is above the law”.  So what is he going to do as custodian of the law?
We want a police force that protects, not bash up innocent people.
Police brutality is rampant in PNG but the police hierarchy has failed to “get to the bottom of this”.
Police brutality has become so common that many find it has become a norm.
It is high time these police officers are prosecuted and shamed.


Port Moresby