By YVONNE HAIP
COMMUNITY leaders and police in Western Highlands have been called on to raise awareness on the effects of alcohol and drug consumption in public places.
Community leader Peter Tei from Avi in the Anglimp district said it was becoming a norm for people to openly drink alcohol and smoking marijuana in the main town area, main market and bus stops and police had failed to arrest them.
He said some of the drunken people often verbally abused and harassed other people in town and at bus stops.
“Such conduct of people under the influence of alcohol is unacceptable in public places and relevant authorities need to address this,” he said.
Tei added that youths were also selling marijuana rolls openly where customers could easily buy and smoke without fear and respect for other people.
Meanwhile, metropolitan commander, Senior Insp John Kale said despite the shortage of police manpower, they were cracking down on the situation.
He said police would soon be stepping up their operations to address this after a meeting with acting governor Wai Rapa, the city council, and relevant authorities.
He added that this issue needed collective efforts to solve and the general public, community leaders, and authorities needed to step in.