By GEORGINA KOREI
POLICE in Western will no longer use firearms for after-hours operations because of numerous complaints of harassment and brutality from the public, a police official says.
Assistant Commissioner of Police – Border Command – Peter Philip said there would be no use of firearms after hours after he had received reports from the public of how policemen were harassing them with firearms.
“I have received direct reports from the public in Daru about how policemen have been harassing the public with firearms and so I have decided to disarm them and lock up all the firearms,” he said.
“Policemen will sign out for police duties and operations in the station commander’s office and once their job is done, they return the firearms.
“No more carrying around the firearms and harassing the people to make money.
“They have picked up suspects, locked them in the cells and then called their families and asked them to come and pay them money to release them.
“They always reduce the bail money down so when the families of the victims come and pay, the victims are released with no proper records.
“There have been no court fines and bail receipts provided as an honest way of policing.
“The suspects after being released go to the court house waiting to appear in court but their names are not being called out during any court hearings.”
Philip said this was becoming a commercial activity now that policemen had been receiving money from victims without proper arrest and charges laid against them.
Philip added that this policing was happening in East Sepik and Western and he had ordered the provincial police commander in Western to lock up all the firearms.
“They have disarmed all the policemen and locked up all the firearms and no firearms will be used after hours,” he said.
By GEORGINA KOREI