By GERALDINE VILAKIVA
THERE has not been any recruitment of new police personnel for Morobe province over the course of the last seven years due to accommodation problems, the provincial police commander Supt Peter Guinness said yesterday.
Supt Guinness said due to the shortage of housing no new recruitment has been done since 2003.
“We have not taken any new police recruits for the last seven years,” he said
Usually, the new police graduates will have to serve two years at the provincial police headquarters in Lae before taking up postings within the province including the rural local-level government (LLG) areas.
However, the ongoing housing problem has prevented this from being done.
“As a result we are facing shortage of manpower in the rural LLG,” Supt Guinness said.
He made these comments in response to remarks by Huon Gulf MP and Health Minister Sasa Zibe and the Huon district administrator Tony Ase for police personnel to be posted in the Morobe local-level government in the Huon District.
According to Mr Ase, the Morobe LLG has been without police personnel for almost five years causing a lot of inconvenience for the district.
“When there’s trouble or specific cases in the area where police is needed to make arrests, or verifications, the district spends a lot of money transporting police from Lae to the area and back on many occasions,” he said.
A trip to the Morobe patrol post area on an outboard motor dinghy takes six to eight hours.
Despite this, the district headquarters in Lae had shown its commitment to the people of Morobe LLG by buying a dinghy with outboard motor for the police in the area.
A has also been built a house for the officer in-charge.
“We have purchased those things to show the police department in Morobe Province that the district is serious about police presence in the LLG,” Mr Ase said.