PM: Time to break the cycle

Main Stories, National

The National, Thursday July 25th, 2013


PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill yesterday expressed concern again at members of the disciplined forces aiding and abetting wanted criminals.

Appearing on FM 100’s Talkback show, he told listeners the Government was moving to weed out bad apples in all the disciplinary forces who were lax about security and who were actively aiding criminal elements, regardless of rank.

A listener wanted to know what the prime minister thought about a serving soldier who was with jail escapees William Nanua Kapris and Raphael Walimini when both were shot dead by police outside Port Moresby.

The soldier, named as Steven Yafai, another ex-soldier and two women are now in custody and will be charged with aiding and harbouring the escapees (see separate story on Page 2).

O’Neill said: “The concern of the government is people being sympathetic towards criminals.

“We have seen that the disciplined forces, especially CS (Correctional Service), have allowed this to happen on a number of occasions.

“We have changed the management of Bomana prison.

“We are facilitating for the arrest of those who are allowing prisoners to leave whenever they like.

“There are some changes taking place at management level at CS at present.

“For the long term, what we need to do is break that cycle.

“We are talking to development partners to bring in expertise to come in and help us and train many of the officers, who are there to provide protection and security in the facilities we have.”

O’Neill said while most officers from police, CS, and PNG Defence Force were law-abiding, it was only a handful that tarnished the image of the disciplinary forces.

“It’s up to us, including senior Defence Force, police and CS officers to weed out this kind of behaviour in their ranks,” he said.

“In the Defence Force, when one of them gets in a drunken brawl, most of them come out and support the drunkard.

“What kind of example is this?

“This kind of behaviour needs to be weeded out, and it will take all of us working together.”

The prime minister promised a marked improvement in law and order services.

“Over the next four years, you will see a considerable improvement in the delivery of good law-and-order services to our people,” O’Neill said.