Constabulary needs support

Editorial

THE death of Port Moresby-based police officer Andrew Tovere almost two weeks ago serves as a reminder to the public that while we are often quick to judge and even condemn the conduct of our constabulary, we should realise that their job is fraught with danger.
Police report say he was allegedly attacked by off-duty soldiers while attending to complaints of illegal sale of alcohol.
Tragically, Tovere was hit around the abdomen with a large piece of wood.
He died at the hospital a day later due to the injuries sustained.
In January, police constable Timot Kavanamur attached with the Air Tactical Unit was shot dead at the Porgera mine site while on duty with his comrades.
Last year, Sergeant David Hale, the second in command of the Mobile Squad Nine based in Hela was killed in Tokia/Kuparo village.
Hale and three other policemen were escorting the Hela government administrator when they were ambushed by more than 70 men from the Tokia/Kuparo village, who were armed with guns and bush knives.
Policing in Papua New Guinea is a fulltime job made all the more difficult by inadequate funding from the state.
It has been an ongoing problem with the force lagging behind its neighbours in many areas of police proficiency.
Understaffed and underequipped, our police men and women are expected to keep the peace and maintain law and order, in most cases on a shoe string budget and with insufficient numbers to properly cover the size of their precincts.
In fact there are numerous areas in rural PNG where the police presence is almost non-existent for the occasional visit by a small patrol.
If the Government and the public are wondering why the police force continues to under-perform, it is because they have not been given the tools (this includes better training and recruitment) and the support to do their jobs and carry out their duties in a professional and competent manner.
It is the least the citizens of this country should expect and it is the responsibility of those in power, and those who head law enforcement, to seriously look into.
Whether the killings were a deliberate act or one of a fleeing suspect bent on escaping the clutches of the law, the fact remains that it has illustrated the underlying problems faced by law enforcers throughout the country.
There can be no substitute for vigilance and the need for safety and precautionary protocols to take over when entering a live crime scene.
It seems that criminals are no longer as fearful of the presence of police and the mere sight of an officer in blue is no longer a deterrent and that is a concern.
We have heard shootings of members of the public by police personnel when excessive force was not warranted and now we seem to have had the opposite happen where police officers have been killed while attending to their duty.
It goes without saying that the police need to be better equipped and trained to deal with the increasing violent crime and brazen criminal behaviour being perpetrated against people.

One thought on “Constabulary needs support

  • Keep on reminding, your righteousness is not enough, people always make a conclusion saying he was a good man/women, judging from the outside is false, you will always get false reading, one on the inside is the real man, if the inside is good, then outside is not the problem, if the inside has a problem, then their is problem, lets work harder everyday ensuring that inside be made in the image of the creator….

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