No court so police cases pile up


BULOLO desperately needs a district court magistrate before Christmas and New Year, which is the peak season for trouble, says police station commander Leo Kaikas.
He is concerned with the backlog of cases dating back to three years ago because there has been no magistrate.
“My police officers are performing our State obligations,” Kaikas said.
“Due to no court process to clear the cases, what is the use of arresting offenders? The more offenders we arrest, cases keep piling up because there is no magistrate.
“We therefore allow bail for minor cases.”
Kaikas said major case offenders were detained in cells, but the number was limited to a maximum of 10, because there was no money to buy food.
He said police officers used their own money to buy rice and tinned fish for the detainees. Bulolo administrator Tae Gwambelek told The National that in the absence of a magistrate, the district development authority funded two court circuits with a Lae-based magistrate.
Gwambelek confirmed receiving a police festive period operations budget plan which was awaiting DDA endorsement.
Kaikas has appealed to the magisterial services in Lae to fast-track the appointment of a new magistrate.
“We need a magistrate as soon as possible before Christmas and New Year,” he said.
“Police cannot continue to arrest offenders while there is no court.”