LAW and order infringements in Madang province are daily occurrences and the biggest obstacles to development, according to police reports.
Provincial police commander Chief Supt Anthony Wagambie Jr said this at the Madang province development issues and crisis forum attended by more than 200 people at the Divine Word University last Friday.
Chief Supt Wagambie said that police records over the last four years indicated that the law and order issue in the province had accelerated to a point where the province was becoming unsafe for people.
He said that the cases of violence against women, stealing, break-and-enter, armed robbery, rape and murder have increase considerably.
Chief Supt Wagambie said some of the major contributing factors to the rise in crime were drugs and alcohol-related.
“We can only counter these problems through community support and participation in assisting the police to make our community a safer place to live.”
Mr Wagambie said that abuse of liquor had also contributed significantly with the many licensed and unlicensed liquor outlets through the province.
He said that the influx of job seekers have also contributed greatly to the rise in crime made worse by illegal settlements in the province.
He said these are signs of development but we need to address them appropriately through collaborative effort with the leaders taking the lead.
“We need to address these issues with the support of all the members from the province because police alone cannot address the problem due to manpower shortage, unlimited funds with vehicles and other logistics not in place to assist police to affectively counter these problems,” he said.
He said so far, two of his officers had experienced high blood pressure after working six days a week because of manpower shortagein the province.
Chief Supt Wagambie said that the first thing to do now in addressing the issues was to identify genuine settlers and those illegal so that actions could be taken.
He said that according to police records most criminal elements were from the settlements.
Chief Supt Wagambie also called on the Police Department to lift the ban on recruiting reserve and auxiliary community policemen and women.