RESIDENTS of Lae living along Boundary Road, Eriku, are blaming settlement youths for being instigators of constant harassment.
Resident and Angau Memorial Hospital chief executive officer Dr Polapoi Chalau yesterday made a personal plea to authorities to address the problem.
Dr Chalau raised concerns after one of his doctors was harassed by thugs over the weekend.
He said the doctor was currently being relocated due to threats made against him.
Dr Chalau said it was sad that health workers, who serve the interest of the community, were being targeted by criminals.
In a separate incident on Sunday, a family member of Dr Chalau had her bag snatched as she was returning home.
The thieves ran into the settlements.
Several professional women who live in the vicinity, and have been victims of bag snatching and assaults, described the villains as “street urchins, the scum of the earth, and low life.”
When notified yesterday about the continuous harassment in the Boundary Rd area, Metropolitan Supt Nema Mondiai blamed the lack of police presence and the shortage of police vehicles.
Supt Mondiai said certain police stations did not have vehicles to assist them with their patrols at their designated areas.
This has really slowed the effectiveness of the police in the city, he said.
Speaking of the settlements, he agreed that these areas were breeding grounds and refuge places for criminals who had been attacking the residents of Lae.
Supt Mondiai said the police were just enforcers and did not have the power to remove the settlers.
He said the removal of the settlers was a political matter and only the Government could decide on what could be done about them.
In the meantime, Supt Mondiai said all complaints and incidents should be reported to the nearest police station as soon as possible.