Communities want own police station, court house

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday February 25th, 2014


COMMUNITIES in the Morobe local level council area of Huon Gulf want police officers based locally to monitor and contain increased unruly activities along the borders of three districts.

The three districts are Sohe in Northern, Huon Gulf and Bulolo, in Morobe, that share electoral boundaries.

Former Dona ward councillor Puretai Zepa raised concerns over escalating law and order issues mostly caused by marijuana, homebrew, and land disputes that often led to clan fights, murder, arson and impregnating of young women.

“On July 13, 2007, the government forgot all about law and order issues in the Morobe council area. Police were shifted out,” Zepa said.

“Police are funded by Huon Gulf district to conduct operations when situation determines, based on funding but when police arrive, no suspects are arrested, brought to custody and jailed for their unruly acts.

“It’s a waste of money to fund police travel to conduct operations. 

“Why not set up a proper police station and a rural court house and lock up at Morobe to save costs.” 

Meanwhile, Popoe-Owazi ward councillor Sep Gomena and peace officer Borowa Sapena raised similar concerns over illegal activities that posed threats in interior Waria River.

“We share boundaries with Sohe and Bulolo districts and the track from Garaina down to Morobe coastline seems to become a trans-highway for smuggling guns in exchange for drugs and gold nuggets,” Gomena said.

He said smugglers walked to Owazi then transited to Popondetta or Morobe and then travelled by ship or dinghy to Lae.

Lives of small alluvial miners, trade store owners and cash crop farmers are at risk, he said.

The leaders have appealed to the government to base police at Morobe to help peace officers and village court magistrates perform their duties without fear and intimidation.