O’Neill orders tints out

Main Stories, National

The National, Wednesday July 10th, 2013


PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill has directed all government vehicles to remove tinted windows and carry Z number plates from today.

He has instructed Chief Secretary Sir Manasupe Zurenuoc and Police Commissioner Tom Kulunga to ensure all departments implement his directive that takes effect today.

O’Neill said this in response to questions by East Sepik Governor Sir Michael Somare about the abuse of government vehicles by public servants and politicians.

He said a similar directive was issued by Public Service Minister Sir Puka Temu last year but this had not been adhered to by the departments, which continued to have tinted windows on their vehicles.

The prime minister said his directive to the chief secretary and the police commissioner was final and departments must remove tinted windows from their vehicles and install Z number plates as of today.

In responding to increased lawlessness and police brutality, O’Neill said that police lacked discipline and there was a decline in police morale.

“All the problems the country faces are because of the general decline in police morale and the loss of pride and confidence from our people in the police force,” he said.

“Our people do not feel free and secure and do not trust our police force because they were instilling fear in them. Because of these reasons our police cannot address law and order issues.”

O’Neill said it was time for the Government to rebuild the police force to enable the police to earn the trust and confidence of citizens.

He said the first steps his government took were injecting a lot of money into the police force, reopening of the police training college to take in new recruits and improving their employment conditions.

He said the partnership with Queensland police would enhance the local police capacity through exchange programmes and training opportunities.

O’Neill said the issues of police conduct and brutality were being addressed.

He added that under the proposed district authority all public servants, including police, would come under the responsibility of provincial and district administrators who would have powers to dismiss them.