Stop accepting compo, allow rule of law

Editorial

KUDOS to Papua New Guinea police for taking a strong ‘no compo’ stand.
Police in Madang have refused to accept a request from a man to pay compensation to a girl who he allegedly attempted to rape inside his home.
Earlier this week, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) northern end Peter Guinness gave orders for Madang police to arrest a Grade 12 male student who allegedly raped a Grade 8 girl inside her family home.
Relatives of the girl settled for compensation based on the understanding that the accused was a student.
Police were stopped from arresting the accused and instead asked to witness the compensation.
“Those relatives who settled for the compensation will also be questioned as to why they allow such a criminal case to be settled out of court,” ACP Guinness said.
We concur with ACP Guinness that people, especially relatives, today think only about what they will get from the compensation payment and forgot about the trauma that the victim has to bear for the rest of her life.
Compensation payment has become a way out for perpetrators of serious crimes, especially cases of rape, causing grievous bodily harm and others and that should be discouraged.
Paying compensation for any criminal offence under the Criminal Code Act is akin to obstructing the course of justice.
Remember, rape is already an indictable offence and the perpetrator should be charged in court and “let the court decide either to give compensation or any other punishments”.
Stop accepting compensation for serious crimes as police would still arrest those who were suspected to have committed a crime under the Criminal Code Act, irrespective of compensation being paid.
We have the Justice Minister Bryan Kramer pointing out that compensation payments do not provide immunity for crime.
Most know it but tend to forget that any person(s) who tells the police to stay out of investigating or prosecuting a crime constituted to perverting the course of justice.
They are liable to be charged (and prosecuted).
It a waste of time and resource for the police when criminal investigations that ended abruptly were because of compensation payments.
Worse still, the culprits (or perpetrators or criminals) feel that they can get away with any crime (as long as) compensation is offered.
Our police friends now have a huge challenge to discourage compensation payments and to make people understand that it cannot replace the criminal justice system.
Crime suspects involved in violence, abuse and killings should be arrested by police and be prosecuted through the criminal court.
While we can ignore mediation, which is an essential part of our society and culture, people should understand that the process of criminal law cannot be avoided nor compromised.
Papua New Guineans should be reminded every time and that any offence that falls under the Criminal Code Act should not be settled out of court.
That means payment of compensation of any sort should not be entertained.
The stand by ACP Guinness that in cases where so much compensation had been paid for any serious crime that falls under the Criminal Code Act, police can still arrest the perpetrator(s) no matter what, should be supported.
Our police on the ground should be given all the resources and support to carry out their duties without fear or favour.

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