Police officer fires at Bank South Pacific

Lae News, Normal

The National- Wednesday, January 19, 2011


A POLICE officer who is the head of a unit at the Lae metropolitan command is alleged to have inadvertently fired a bullet in his office that eventually pierced a glass wall of the Bank South Pacific at Top town in Lae on Monday afternoon, forcing the bank to close temporarily.

The 9mm bullet was fired from a semi-auto rifle from Lae Central Police station, directly opposite the bank on Coronation Drive.

Metropolitan commander Nema Mondiai was not available for comment but police sources said that safety procedures were not followed.

The sources said the officer (named) should surrender his firearm and be charged for negligence.

Morobe provincial police commander, Peter Guinness said: “You point to an area or space where there is no human being to disarm or load. If an officer mishandles the weapon, then, commander in-charge allows for investigation and the officer is disciplined.”

He said that after taking up the post in Morobe province, he had “never seen any quarterly firearm training being conducted to refresh policemen and women on safety”.

He added that there was no firearm checking bay in Lae.

“Normally, when there is an armoury, there is always a weapon checking bay where officers do check, load, unload, clean and polish weapons and Lae needs to have one,” said Guinness.

He said that consequences of handling weapons “are very dangerous because it is made and meant to kill”.