A REINFORCED police in Tari, Souther Highlands province, are rounding up criminals but they cannot appear in court because there is no magistrate to hear their cases.
There are no district court magistrates in Tari to hear cases, according to community leader Philip Kaloma, who did not explain how this had come about.
Police also could not say how cases were pending, or whether they would transfer them to other courts to be heard.
However, Mr Kaloma said the recent arrival of MS4 (mobile squad four) from Port Moresby had resulted in a major crackdown on troublemakers in the district.
He said many minor offenders were released on bail because there was no magistrate to hear their cases.
Mr Kaloma claimed that people feared traveling to Tari in the past because they became the victims.
Pick pocketing had stopped together with illegal use of marijuana, being drunk and disorderly behaviour in public places, making, selling and drinking homebrew and gambling had eased due to the presence of the MS4 “who are actually doing an excellent job”.
He said with the construction of the new road by Curtain Brothers and the LNG project set to commence soon, the town was now safe to do business but desperately needed a magistrate to be based in the district.
“The town desperately needs a magistrate to hear the cases of the people,” Mr Kaloma said.