Lack of funding may force police to close cells


LACK of funding to sustain police operations and food rations to feed detainees in Bulolo besides the absence of a fulltime magistrate to clear a backlog of cases are likely to force the shutdown of police cells, according to police.
As a means of finding a solution, police are selling 2000 tickets to host a fundraising dance at Bulolo Bowling Club on Friday so they can have enough money for the operations over Christmas and New Year.
Police station commander Leo Kaikas told The National that the current situation without a district court magistrate and no money for stationery and rations was critical and cells may be closed.
The cell situation has been worsened by blocked toilet pipes which has made the area unfit for people to live in.
“It’s almost three years without a magistrate, with a backlog of serious cases, and many offenders arrested were released on bail as a result,” Kaikas said.
“The same detainees released on bail were apprehended again allegedly for committing serious offences. We will soon stop arresting offenders and release the remaining detainees on bail and close the book,” an unhappy Kaikas said.
He said services funds from districts, the province and LLGs were supportive in Bulolo police operations but that has dried out.
“We never received operational funding from police purse, I don’t know why,” Kaikas said.
The district court caters for Mumeng, Wau-Bulolo, Biaru, Waria, Watut, Aseki and Menyamya.
Kaikas is appealing to senior magistrates in Lae to fast-track the case of district magistrate, suspended two years ago, and appoint a new one.
Kaikas has only one open-back vehicle and is unable to transport detainees to Lae.
He commands six Bulolo LLGs and four in Menyamya assisted by 20 officers who are handicapped by the lack of logistical resources.
Attempts to reach Morobe commander Augustine Wampe were unsuccessful. Instead Assistant Police Commissioner-Northern Peter Guinness said he would discuss the situation with Wampe.