Task force planned to police rural areas

Lae News, Normal

The National, Wednesday 23rd November 2011

MOROBE is setting up a police task force that will be responsible solely for law and order in the rural areas of the province.
With growing lawlessness and the possibility of unrest in the province, the provincial executive committee (PEC) last month passed a resolution to engage a task force to be trained by police and the defence force to counter any uprising.
The lack of manpower in Lae and the provincial command has meant that many problems in the eight districts outside Lae had not been quickly attended to, resulting in deaths, injuries and destruction of property.
Yesterday, the Department of Police and the Morobe provincial government signed a memorandum of agreement (MoA) for the establishment of a police task force that will be responsible solely to serve the province.
The provincial government will help fund vehicles, communications equipment and ammunition while the police department will chip in with what is  required under the Constitution.
Law and Order chairman Dicks Iwong said the province was experiencing an increase in major crimes in rural areas and there were plans to have five policemen based at each local level government (LLG).
Provincial police commander Peter Guinness said Morobe covered a huge area that was sometimes inaccessible.
He agreed that serious crimes previously only experienced in major towns was now happening in villages.
Guinness said sometimes help from Lae police was hard to get as they were busy with metropolitan rounds when families, clans and tribes took the law into their own hands during conflicts in villages.
He said the new task force would give greater impetus to decisions of village elders as they would feel supported by the law.
Morobe Governor Luther Wenge has urged police chiefs to hand in a budget as soon as possible so it could be included in the province’s budget for next year.
The MoA was co-signed by acting Police Commissioner Tom Kulunga, Wenge, Guinness and Iwong, witnessed by PEC members and Momase divisional police commander Giosi Labi and his deputy, Allan Kundi.