By MARJORIE FINKEO
TRAVELLERS on the Hiritano and Magi highways are expected to see more police presence and roadblocks targeting traffic offences, drugs and robberies.
Police operations will start next Monday and end on January 12, covering the two major highways in and out of Port Moresby, including the Laloki area, Apanaipi to Gulf, Bautama to Kupiano, Sogeri, Motukea and Papa-Lealea.
Roadblocks will be set up from next week, police said.
Central police commander Chief Superintendent Sibron
Papoto said the provincial government would assist with funding.
Papoto said their main target was illegal alcohol, especially homebrew, and illegal liquor outlets operating during Christmas and New Year.
Central has many social issues, mostly alcohol-related, and Papoto said they would try to ensure villagers celebrated in peace.
Police will look out for holdups, drugs and unauthorised beer and alcohol.
He said marijuana was a problem, not only in the Highlands but also in Central because it shared borders with Morobe, Northern and Milne Bay.
He said there was evidence marijuana was being cultivated in Tapini and Goilala.
Police in Popondetta will launch their operation for the festive period tomorrow, provincial commander Superintendent Michael Welly said.
“It’s a normal Christmas-New Year operation to check on vehicles and the travelling public during the festive season, also talking to the administration about alcohol control during that period,” he said.
“We already have an ongoing issue of homebrew (eveka) production in the province and so we are considering an alcohol ban. We will also be targeting areas where we think that people are using firearms to rob shops and other crimes.”
Welly warned businesshouses and the general public to be on the lookout because there would be an increase in armed robberies and burglaries.
Meanwhile, Welly said Northern being a maritime province, needed resources for police patrols along the coast between the borders of Northern, Morobe and Milne Bay.
He said police had a dinghy in Oro Bay but the motor was not working.
“If we can get the dinghy motor up and running, we will have our water police unit operational –watching the borders,” he said.
By MARJORIE FINKEO