Tactless policing costly for State

National, Normal


TACTLESS police actions will cost the State more than K59,000 after the National Court in Waigani ruled in favour of a villager from Laiagam, Enga province, who was left homeless after a police raid in 1993.
National Court judge Justice George Manuhu said last Friday that police raids were becoming common, a trend which must stop.
Justice Manuhu was satisfied that the police raid was unlawful and in the process the victim’s properties in a remote part of Laiagam were destroyed 
He ordered the State to pay plaintiff Yama Tai a total of K59,475, including 8% interest per annum, for the damages caused as a result of 1993 raid.
Justice Manuhu, while handing down the decision, said the State had seemingly condoned police raids and police raids which had become common occurrences.
“The well-being of the people of this country is the responsibility of the State.”
He said he was mindful of the practice of engaging experts to assess damages caused in police raids in order to pursue claims.
“I must bear in mind that it is sometimes unreasonable to expect victims of police raid in the remote parts of the country to engage services of a professional to assess damages caused by police raids.”
“Such strict procedures, while acceptable in developed countries, could be unacceptable in this jurisdiction where access to proper services remains a struggle for people in remote parts of the country.”
Justice Manuhu said that the reason was because some claims were exaggerated or fraudulent claims, which were sometimes difficult to justify.
However, he said he was satisfied in the Tai case that the claims were genuine.