Market reopens, police call on settlers to take ownership


THE re-opening of Voco Point beachfront market has come with conditions from Lae police who have called on Gecko and Biwat settlers to take ownership of the area.
Acting Lae Met Supt Chris Kunyanban said the market would be closed permanently if petty crimes were committed at the market.
“Gecko and Biwat settlers must uphold the law and restore the lost trust with public safety and mobility at Voco Point or the market be closed,” Kunyanban said. He told youths from the settlements to respect women, young girls and the public traveling to and from the Morobe coastline, Northern, West New Britain and Rai Coast, Madang.
“Refrain from petty crimes in pick-pocketing, bag snatching, home-brew production, selling and buying drugs and drunkards threatening public mobility and safety,” he said.
“Sellers must report swiftly to Voco Point police station commander Brian Panda, any suspects committing criminal offences,” Kunyanban said.
Lae Urban ward two councilor Demas Michael accompanied Kunyanban to re-opening the market that was closed after the burning down of a police station two years ago.
“Respect public facilities .
“I will not tolerate any criminal activities at Voco Point and in two settlements therefore settlers and unemployed that rely heavily on daily markets to feed families must take ownership,” he said.
“It’s a give and take thing.
“You take ownership and report swiftly to police names of suspects to ensure we deal with them.
“If you want to live peacefully, work together with police to uphold law, restore trust and confidence in Voco Point.”
Kunyanban said the police would give the community a grace period until the end of the month before enforcing the warning to settlers.
Michael said the Voco Point beachfront was a place that attracted Lae residents on weekends.
“Peace and order and security need to be maintained in order for residents and visitors to carry out their business.”
Michael said he would work with authorities to have market officers to look after the market, toilets and issue tickets to vendors for the use of the facility.