Buai off police radar

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By REBECCA KUKU
POLICE have more important public safety and security issues to deal with daily than chasing buai vendors off streets and public places, says Police Minister Bryan Kramer.
He told The National that it was “just not practical” for police officers to be treating as a priority the enforcement of the ban.
“Police (should) be focusing on ensuring public safety, including running operations and addressing major crimes,” he said.
“Minor crimes can also be addressed. But it’s just not practical for police to be enforcing the betel nut ban policy.”
Police teams on foot or mobile patrol duties often clash with informal market vendors selling items such as buai on roadsides, confiscating the popular fruit and other items they can get their hands on.
Kramer told The National that the top priority for police officers was to provide safety and security to the people.
National Capital District Governor Powes Parkop earlier told The National that the 2013 betel nut ban policy had been amended with City Hall regulating it.
“But Parliament passed laws to make it illegal to sell betel nut in public places at the beginning of this year. It does not apply only to Port Moresby but to the rest of the country as well,” he said.
“Currently, the NCDC has not been enforcing the betel nut ban as we are waiting for the magisterial services and police to synchronise our effort before we start enforcing the ban again.”
Parkop said Parliament had amended the Summary Offence Act to have the buai ban policy become law, meaning that people would be prosecuted for selling betel nut in public places.
“Once the NCDC Magisterial Services and Police synchronise, NCDC will than start enforcing the betel nut ban. And people will then be arrested, charged and prosecuted in court for selling betel nut in public places,” he said.
Meanwhile, a police officer appeared in the Waigani Committal Court charged with murder in relation to an incident on Sept 16 in which buai vendor Peter Pamben was killed.
Constable John Selan Lavona, 40, from Rombucho village in Manus was charged with one count of wilful murder before Magistrate Cosmas Bidar.
“There are also other officers involved and yet to be arrested and charged. These are allegations made against you but investigations are yet to be completed,” Bidar said.

8 comments

  • 50% of Police Brutality cases are BUAI related. I am not certain whether the enforcement of a by – law passed by NCDC can fully be enforced with certain limitations without using excessive force. There is more expectation out there than just BUAI.

    BRIAN KUNAI

  • Selling Buai is not a very serious offence and everyone including Policemen/women are chewing betel nut at the Police station while in full Police Uniform and in Police vehicles. The wives and relatives of Policemen/Women are also selling betel nuts in Police Barracks. There is not fairness if the Law enforcers are covering up their backyard and pretending to enforce the Buai Ban on the Public. Police Minister should drive into the Police Barracks and witness informal markets going on in all the Police Barracks.

  • Someone needs to count the costs of the buai ban. Millions have been wasted on this ban with little to no effect and its beginning to approach borderline stupidity, ie persisting with a policy that’s not achieving its objectives. This is taxpayers money and surely, its value for money needs checking. NCDC keeps paying millions to the so called buai ban controller but what for? Time to scrap this jobs for the boys initiative.

  • At most times I have physically witnessed policemen/women selling confiscated buai and cigarettes to other people or giving it to their own families to sell them at their back yards in the police Barracks to make money for themselves. what a shame. its just as good as stealing from the poor ones who are trying make ends meet for the afternoon. its like a tiger preying on a rat. Police Minister, Please have a crack on that.

  • I had seen most police taking advantages on the Buai Ban Policy ,and beating up civilians badly..some time ago a person was beating up to dead in port moresby..In most occasion police became robbers they got everything from that person..We are all guided by the laws and principles of this country..Buai selling is not a big serious offence. Shame on the police men they are the ones who used to consuming more betel nuts.Lets not pretend..

  • The policy on Buai Ban was introduced by Powes Parkop to maintain public palces and our Country’s Headquater safe. However, Buai is being chewed by over 75% of the Papua New Guineans who are living in and around the towns/cities. The top chewers are Policemen/women and their families.

    Let’s think in our Malanesian way for the good of those street vendors and set proper pleace for them to sell buai rather then selling in PUBLIC PLACES. Working class people work and get forthnight and live and life in cities and street vendors, they entirely depend on selling things in street.

    HOW CAN WE STOP CHEWING WHILE WE CHEW IN PUBLIC PLACES LIKE OUR WORKPALCE?
    We just point one finger to the vendors but employees, employers, law enforcers and working class people are causing Public Places Unhygienic.

  • There’s nothing wrong with selling and chewing of betel. Its the attitude of the people who consume and sell it. Only if these people change their attitude then we won’t have to deal buai vendors everyday. Seems to be the same people doing the same old things.

  • Everyone knows that chewing buai is a health hazard, yet people love to chew despite the health hazard. Cause people are chewing desperately, the market is right in front of street walkways, walkways become market ways,
    blame should be shared, everyone is accountable for the deaths so far, all parties are involved, it is not about blaming someone but its all about a solution………….

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