By ALISON ANIS
POLICE rely heavily upon public assistance and support in any police operation because the police force is not growing fast enough to cater for the country’s rapidly growing population, Senior Sergeant with police media unit at Konedobu, David Terry, said yesterday.
Sgt Terry said the ratio of police manpower to PNG’s rapidly growing population is one of the biggest challenges faced by the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary and it could only do so much to maintain law and order across the country.
He said the force had an estimated 4,800 male and female police officers deployed around the country against an estimated population of 6.5 million people which he said equates to about one police officer to about 1,250 people.
“There is a need for the Government to double current police manpower strength so that police can effectively respond to the demands of the civil society,” he said.
“And Government will also have to fork out millions of kina more to extend existing police stations and build new houses to accommodate the recruits.
“Logistical supplies, including vehicles, uniforms, firearms and all other equipment and accessories for police will have to be purchased and maintained if the police manpower strength is doubled,” he said.
Sgt Terry said the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary management wants to see constabulary strength increase but inadequate funding for recruitments remains the biggest impediment to its development.
Sgt Terry was speaking to reporters yesterday during the workshop on “Sector Issues
Education for Media Personnel”organised by Media Council of PNG at Lamana Hotel.