Ops stalled due to lack of funds

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday, May 4, 2011

THE lack of funds is hindering special police operations in West New Britain, provincial commander  Chief Insp Richard Mulou says.
Mulou said operations started in the wake of the recent riot in Kimbe.
He said they had a bill of more than K550,000 which had yet be settled from the 21-day operation.
The operation was two-phased beginning with the arrest of four police officers involved in the murder of a Talasea man and the lead on from this was assessment of the destruction and looting of business houses in town.
The provincial government had contributed K160,000 for the operation which Mulou said had gone to the hire of vehicles, accommodation for the mobile squad from Port Moresby and allowances for all police officers involved in the first seven days of the operation.
“We have yet to give allowances for police officers for the second and third weeks and it is now the fourth week,” he said.
Mulou said he had stood down regular troops from the province from the operation after paying them their allowances but other troops still had allowances pending.
That, he said, included money for their return tickets and other accommodation.
“The last thing I want is a mutiny by police officers.
“I am the meat in the sandwich right now and people are expecting me to run an operation on empty tanks.
“I am supposed to be on leave but I have committed myself to this operation,” Mulou said.
He said the operation was supposed to have wound down on Sunday, but because there was no funding commitment from key stakeholders, it had been deferred to today.
He said when the operation was scaled down, he did not know what Kimbe police would do next because they were severely handicapped by a lack of transport.
Mulou said two of their vehicles had been burnt in the riot and five others were sitting idle in the plant transport board yard awaiting repairs.
He said they had used hired vehicles for the special operation.
However, he thanked stakeholders for flying in the mobile squad and the funding received from provincial government.