PNG needs more disciplined cops

Letters, Normal

The National, Monday, May 16, 2011

WE urgently need more disciplined policemen and women to curb the ever increasing law and order pro­blems in the country.
The serious breakdown in discipline and loss of command of the RPNGC from top down coupled with and continuous in-fighting and divisions have created disharmony amongst the police personnel.
More funds must be given to the Police Department to increase its current size from 6,000 to 36,000.
Our population has tripled but the number of police personnel has remained the same.
The government needs to put money where its mouth is if it is serious about curbing law and order problems.
It should employ many of our unemployed Grade 12 dropouts, colleges and universities.
Even if the Vagrancy Act was enforced, we still remain in square one as there is not enough money to
send the people back to their province of origin.
I can still remember back in 1984 when the Vagrancy Act was in force.
As a policeman, I had arrested and charged several people under the Act and when they appeared before the court and were found guilty, the presiding magistrate ordered them to leave NCD.
However, they could not leave and they never left because there was no one to pay for their airfares.
What the police hierarchy should be demanding from the government is to increase their manpower strength, vehicles, firearms, computers and uniforms.
There should be more intakes of recruits and re-training at Bomana as the six-month training is insufficient.
Our detectives should be sent overseas to equip themselves with the latest method to fight cyber crime, human smuggling, terrorism, money laundering, drug trafficking, piracy and counterfeit among others.
Previously, after graduating from Bomana, we were classified as probationary constable for a two-year period where we underwent another training programme known as the personalised system of training  which we had to complete within 18 months and must score a pass in each unit after the test until we were confirmed as constable.
Those who failed to pass a unit three times were automatically terminated from the force.
I don’t know whether this system is still being practised today or has been scrapped.
The current recruitment trend is very poor.
People with questionable background are being recruited.
When I was in the force, those who had served more than five years had to go to a retraining course known as general duty refresher (GDR) course and other specialist courses at the Bomana Police College for three months.
This has been stopped today because of lack of funds, I believe.
The sector patrol system involving four policemen conducting patrols during the 1980s in Port Moresby was effective in combating crime.
This system must be reintroduced in NCD, Lae, Mt Hagen and other major towns immediately.
The acting deputy commissioner is a sector patrol product and he knows this system inside out.
He must support the acting commissioner and present a submission to the national government for a complete overhaul and improve the RPNGC.


Port Moresby