Hela police pressing on with provincial structure despite manpower shortage

Highlands

By Rebecca Kuku
HELA Governor Philip Undialu has confirmed that the new Hela Provincial Police Structure was approved last week.
However, Undialu told The National that despite this, police in the province were still a long way from reaching the provincial status.
“We still have a shortage with manpower as not many officers are willing to come and serve in Hela and the officers from Southern Highlands have all returned to their home province due to the death of the two officers in Mendi last year,” he said. “Officers’ ranking and positions are also yet to be sorted, so yes, despite the approval of the provincial structure, we still need a lot of work.”
Undialu also said that the provincial government was “in discussion” with the police hierarchy to have a memorandum of understanding signed so that a police training facility could be set up in Hela to train locals to become officers.
“Let’s allow the people or give them the chance to take ownership of law and order in the province,” he said.
“We have been trying to change Hela for a very long time so we have to give it back to the people.
“Because if we want change, we must change it ourselves.”
The Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary will be meeting with the Hela government this week to discuss a way forward for the province.

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