No easy way to reduce social problems

Editorial

THERE are no single and straightforward recommendations, formulae or secrets to reduce law and order problems anywhere in the world.
PNG we all know is confronted with pressing socio-economic, political, legal and administrative issues.
We accept the need for far-reaching social intervention to correct problems, much of which flow from poor parenting, compounded by the failure of the state to address poverty, public indiscipline, and delinquency over a period of many years.
Maintaining peace and harmony in the city was not an easy task but could be done through collective efforts from individuals, institutions, businesses, police and MPs.
Law and order is said to be on the rise in the country and everyone concerned are working overtime to have it addressed.
The churches, non-governmental organisations, donor agencies and international friends are all coming in different capacities to help address this issue.
Their support though can only stretch to a certain limit based on their scope of work.
While some areas have seen improvement, a lot still is required to eradicate this issue which, if not addressed, will be an impediment to development.
It is not possible to remove the problem once and for all because we are talking about changing human attitude, mind¬set and behaviour which have been influenced by the social environment that individual interacts in.
So they say the only realistic approach is try to develop methods, not to eliminate the issue or even drastically reduce it, and to live with it, ensuring the problem is manageable and do not seriously affect the citizens, visitors and investments.
However, all must understand that just as the social problems took years to fester and become open sores, social intervention, too, takes a long time to work.
Also, social intervention cannot prosper in community environs where the law is impotent and criminals rule.
For social intervention to sustainably work, for people to go about their business freely and without fear, for children to go to school unmolested and without being lured by criminals, law and order must rule.
To that end, in the very short term, and for as long as necessary, the security forces must take control of these communities haunted by those who have lost respect for humans or criminals.
Any place can be transformed easily if law and order issues are addressed adequately to allow a conducive environment for business activities and service delivery.
Police presence in the communities would bring an impact and bring about changes
PNG does not want just a police force. We want a police force that will be effective and accountable and trained, properly disciplined.
But how can police do that with their budget? The efforts of Commissioner Gari Baki and his commanders to address law and order must be commended, especially with the limited resources they have.
Various programmes launched by police and its line agencies to reduce crime are there but what good is a grand plan if it is without funding.
As we have leaders with vision to make a difference, we must also support them with the right funding levels.

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