The National – Tuesday, February 8, 2011
By EVAH KUAMIN
CRIMINAL cases in East New Britain have dropped extensively this year according to a senior judge.
East New Britain resident judge Justice Salatiel Lenalia revealed this during the opening of the legal year yesterday at Kabaira in the Reimber-Livuan LLG area saying the number of remandees had gone down according to Kerevat jail commander Margaret Garap.
For criminal cases, Lenalia said there were only 69 cases that were pending and together with fresh committals, totalled 83 cases.
This, he said, showed that the legal fraternity in the province had been working hard.
However, he did say he was disappointed over a recent news article in one of the two dailies that had reported police brutality.
Another report in the Post-Courier stated that people in communities, including their elders, reserved the right to protect people instead of handing them over to the police when crimes were being committed.
Lenalia said this report was totally wrong, distorted and misleading.
This kind of brutality, he added, also involved brutality among wives and their husband who were police officers which was not right.
He said there were about 190 bench warrants in the province which all police officers and other law enforcement agencies should work together to bring in those people concerned.
He said this indicated that there was a much bigger task for police throughout the country and urged all officers to act promptly and attend to women, especially mothers, who lay complaints at police stations.
“Such cases should not be treated lightly. They are serious in their nature.”
Police officers, Lenalia said, were vested with the mandate to protect people and work together with people in the communities.
The justice system would not be too difficult on people living in rural areas, if they cooperated and worked together with the police and other law enforcement agencies, he said.