Take care of police vehicles

Editorial

JUST when the public believed they could put police brutality and bad behaviour behind them for a while, they are quite literally hit with reports of policemen drink-driving, damaging expensive cars, causing death and injury.
In the space of weeks, a number of new police vehicles donated by the Australian Federal Police have been damaged by careless or allegedly drunk policemen.
Sometime last year, a newly donated vehicle was written off after an accident along the Magi Highway in Central.
Another ended up off the road in Madang.
On New Year’s Day, police reported another donated vehicle damaged by a drunk police officer at the Bomana Police College.
Eight days later along the boulevard leading to Parliament House, another officer rammed a vehicle into a fully-loaded bus causing serious injury and loss of life.
Not setting a good example when drunk policemen are behind the wheel during official working hours.
They stress to the public the importance of road safety yet break road rules themselves.
Hypocrites is too tame a name for them.
They are worse than that because they deliberately defy the vary laws they took an oath to uphold, and are paid to maintain.
Such careless and reckless behaviour not only drains the constabulary of the scarce resources they are given but also worsens the long-held negative public perception of the disciplined force.
Perhaps the only comfort the public can get following these incidents is that the police hierarchy is coming down hard on the offending officers, and quite rightly so.
According to the assistant commissioner in charge of National Capital District and Central, the policeman who caused the accident on the boulevard in Waigani was immediately detained by his colleagues and will remain in the cell until he appears in court.
He was allegedly intoxicated and speeding when he hit the bus which was already crossing the intersection. He was driving a 10-seater vehicle assigned to the Gordon police public safety unit.
He faces disciplinary action and rightly so.
No one condones, least of all law-abiding members of the public, such irresponsible behaviour.
Officers guilty of such misbehaviour do not deserve to be wearing the uniform of the PNG Constabulary.
Disciplinary action on them should be hard and swift.
It is unfortunate that the concerned officers have families and dependents who will be adversely affected if their breadwinner loses employment temporarily or permanently.
However, that is the price to pay for such disorderly conduct all officers who had sworn an oath to serve the State in their capacity as police officers.
In choosing this career pathway, the men and women in blue have implicitly declared to the world that they would endeavour to live on a plane of integrity and soberness above the common man.
Drunkenness and policing don’t go together.
The careless behaviour of a few officers seriously undermines the trust of donors, especially the AFP, whose officers on the ground have done so much good work in Port Moresby and Lae.
The only way to continue this partnership in good faith is by us showing appreciation through taking good care of the donated vehicles and upgraded operational buildings funded by Australian taxpayer money.

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