The National, Tuesday October 8th, 2013
By DOROTHY MARK
USERS of the North Coast road, in Madang, are concerned about the way police conduct searches at the Talidig checkpoint.
Many people said auxiliary police engaged were given powers to block roads and check passengers’ private belongings and even their bodies.
“They put up roadblocks like traffic used to do and search people with search warrants,” Philip Yasukem said.
He said the police officers were recruited from the nearby areas.
“They have over performed their duties and have gone as far as searching people’s private belongings and even body,” Yasukem said.
An elementary teacher, Elizabeth Balias, said the roadblocks meant a waste of time for the travellers.
“The police officers knew all vehicles travelling along the route and it is frustrating and time consuming when they are stopped and checked every time they pass through,” Balias said.
A man reported he was assaulted and had his property damaged during one check.
Talidig rural police station commander Snr Const Francis Willinga denied the claims, saying he did not receive any report on matters related to the claims.
He said the police officers recruited were regular officers and were performing police duties but said people should report matters to him or Madang PPC Sylvester Kalaut for appropriate action to be taken against officers involved.
Talidig policemen have been conducting roadblocks for several months and have confiscated drugs and homebrew from travellers.
Most of the people arrested during the road blocks were smuggling drugs into Bogia to trade for coconuts or travel to Angoram, Wewak and other parts of East Sepik.