By PAUL MINGA
IT IS a heart-breaking scene to see daily women, girls, visitors, students and the vulnerable targeted by a syndicate of hooligans at Port Moresby’s Gordon central bus stop, the shop fronts and the peripheries of the police station and the north end of the police barracks.
Our freedom of movement or speech provided for in this democratic nation’s constitution cannot be enjoyed in these areas due to constant attack and harassment by thugs and hooligans who are after valuables.
Every time city residents – students, visitors and the locals land at Gordon for a transit, business, shopping or for a reason other than that they feel suppressed and have a sense of feeling that their democratic right to freedom of movement is no longer there or has been restricted.
For those who already have become victims or are well aware of Gordon hooligans syndicate operation, before they leave their house they must tuck away their valuables or money or phones into their pants, bras or a tight pockets. Some people carry their valuables such as laptop computers and other smaller valuables and cash in well-secured bags before coming to Gordon.
But in reality Gordon is a transit point for city workers, their families, students, visitors and the locals of the two provinces of Gulf and Central.
But instead of these people enjoying their freedom of movement, they move around with fear and nervousness of being held up at knife-point or being swarmed by thugs and hooligans targeting their valuables and money. Other times bags, bilums or valuables are snatched or forcefully taken off from the grasp of the owner by several hooligans assisting one and another in team work for their convenience as an organised group or syndicate.
I have witnessed these ongoing activities of criminal nature for almost 10 years. Seeing students, mothers, sisters, fathers, brothers and visitors being robbed off their valuables and hard earned money daily saddens me and I feel the urge to highlight this issue of paramount importance to all authorities so that we all can work together to find an amicable solution for the clamp down of criminal and ‘eyesore’ activities at Gordon bus stops and shopping area on a daily basis.
We cannot ignore this to go on and let more good people become victims when our government is preaching to the nation about addressing law and order. What goes on at Gordon daily makes a mockery of the Government’s attempt at fighting lawlessness and protecting citizens.
The criminal activities by hooligans daily at Gordon bus stops and shopping areas are eventuating right under the nose and eyes of Gordon policemen and their families as the police station and barracks are just nearby and not a stone throw away. The concerned crime infested city location is about 3km away from the National Parliament.
But what is happening at Gordon is as if it were in one of the outlying islands of Milne Bay or Manus where police presence is not there.
I feet for the victims of hooligans. I curse the hooligans and wish if the Creator can step in an instant and striking them down with one blow. Why must they (hooligans) go on enjoying the fruits of some other people’s else’s sweat? They are abled bodied to move about in doing something to earn their living but they act as if all doors to the world have closed in on them.
The daily activities at Gordon are frightening indeed.
I imagine the pain the victims have gone through for the loss of their valuables as computer, phone and cash. For a poor student who was setting his or her dream on target in wishing to have a laptop computer or touch phone in enabling school work that dream becomes a shattered rose every time the hooligans attack. These constant activities of criminal nature are occurring daily in the once proud suburb that hosted a famous market dating back to the 1970s and 80s.
The daily occurrence of hooligans’ activities unfolding near the police station and residential area of police makes the law enforcers a laughing stock. Police personnel and their family members who are frequenting the concerned areas know the culprits who are behind the activities but are keeping silent as more people are becoming victims.
I think to myself why our government is preaching law and order while the hooligans are brazenly carrying out their activities only two or so kilometres away from the Parliament House.
Like the saying goes, seeing is believing, so I would suggest if those in authority like politicians, the Police Commissioner, Gordon Police Station commander and NCD Governor should come to Gordon and see for themselves and then cooperate and set up a 24/7 police surveillance team who can be stationed at all crime infested spots at Gordon bus stops and shopping areas to combat the lawlessness head on for the good image of our nation’s capital and for the good of all PNG citizens and expatriates.
By PAUL MINGA