The National, Wednesday October 23rd, 2013
By BEATRICE BONAKOYA
ASSISTANT Police Commissioner Jim Andrews has appealed to street vendors to report any cases of assault by police officers on members of the public.
Andrews was responding to claims by food vendors outside Vulupindi Haus, in Waigiani, Port Moresby, that two truckloads of police officers joined a group of city rangers to destroy their food items and other property on Monday afternoon.
Former school teacher from Morobe Taki Mecko said he and his wife were among the vendors selling food and drinks at around 1pm.
Two vehicles carrying uniformed policemen joined three truckloads of city rangers who stopped at the roadside and destroyed the vendors’ tables and items.
Mecko said some rangers and policemen helped themselves to the items before leaving.
Vendors had to clean up the mess.
Andrews said such behaviour by police officers was uncalled for. “If the premises are restricted for vending, policemen have the discretion to tell the vendors to pack and leave the place but not to destroy or damage their property,” he said.
He said vendors who were assaulted should report the matter to the nearest police station so that appropriate action could be taken against the officers responsible.
An eyewitness confirmed that the same group of rangers and policemen destroyed food items on sale by vendors along the Somare circuit behind offices in Waigani.