POLICEMEN in Lae are stretched to the limit in their crime prevention and law enforcement duties that some areas are left uncovered, Lae commander Chief Supt Chris Kunyanban says.
“The problem is due to the fast growing number of illegal settlements, a problem that had been left unattended by the authorities,” he said.
Chief Supt Kunyanban said the uncontrolled growth of settlements was now causing grave law and order socio-economic woes.
“The authorities must treat the problem seriously and with urgency.
“They cannot continue to ignore the problem and not do anything about it.
“Currently, there are serious law and order problems in the Back Road area between factions of people living in the illegal settlements,” he said, adding that houses were being built almost everywhere by people squatting illegally either on State land, waste land or customary lands.
Chief Supt Kunyanban said policing duties were all about dealing with communities and “sometimes police may not be on time to attend to complaints because we may be tied down by a case”.
“The mushrooming of illegal settlements have, thus, increased our policing work significantly,” he said.
“This means we are now in dire need of manpower and logistics.”
Chief Supt Kunbunyan said increase in rural-city migration of people was not only burdening police with having to combat more crime, “it is straining other service providers, including the Government”.
“Numerous calls have been made to the authorities to work with police and plan how this issue can be addressed.”
Meanwhile, Kunyanban said carjacking in Lae city had been addressed.