The National, Wednesday 22nd May 2013
POLICE manpower strength has remained below 5,000 personnel since independence despite capacity and other issues confronting the force, Police Minister Nixon Duban told Parliament yesterday.
Duban said in his ministerial statement that the manpower shortage had negatively impacted the lives of the people and businesses.
He said the law and order situation affected foreign investments.
The lack of police “visibility, presence and response” had caused grave concern among people and the business community, Duban said.
He attributed the situation “ignorance” by past governments.
The police force had been neglected over the years through lack of funds and resources, Duban said.
The minister said by United Nations standards, PNG needed a force of 20,000 or one for every 400 people.
“Currently, PNG has a ratio of one policeman to 1,600 people because PNG has a total manpower strength of fewer than 5,000,” he said.
Duban said the government in 2005 and 2008 approved to recruit and increase manpower to 6,300 and 10,000 but that did not eventuate.
“It is important that the people feel the presence of police with a well-resourced and adequately funded force that would give confidence to the people,” he said.