Police after more cash

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THE constabulary is unhappy with the K50 million cut to its 2018 budget allocation as it builds up security preparations for Apec next year.
Police Commissioner Gari Baki told The National yesterday he hoped the Government would “revisit” the police allocation of K258 million announced by Treasurer Charles Abel in Parliament on Tuesday. It was K308 million last year.
Baki, said he hoped that at some stage, the government would review upwards this allocation to ensure “no hiccups” to its huge task next year.
“The cut is a big setback for the police constabulary,” Baki said.
“The 2017 budget for the Police department was K308.89 million but has been reduced to K258. 47 million in the 2018 budget. That is a decrease of about K50 million. So it looks like all our utilities costs have been removed,” he said.
Baki said he had discussed with Police Minister Jelta Wong taking the matter up with Treasurer and Deputy Prime Minister Abel “to review the cut and assist the police”.
But Abel, when asked for a comment yesterday, told The National the only cut to the police budget he was aware of was for utilities “because it is now centralised”.
Baki said the police force needed the support of government “especially with the Apec meeting that is just months away”.
“Most of the trainings leading to Apec were the result of us refocusing on the policing partnership programme which is supported by the Australian Federal Police,” Baki said.
He said it would be more appropriate if the Joint Task Force responsible for the implementation of all security activities and trainings leading up to Apec, be self-sufficient and funded so it could carry out its duties without hiccups.
Although the constabulary was relying heavily on Australia for support, Baki said PNG should also be “making its own contributions as well”.
The Apec meeting is in November 2018.
Baki yesterday was at the opening of the new specialised training centre at the McGregor Barracks in Port Moresby.