TIPNG raises concerns over police force

National, Normal

TRANSPARENCY International PNG (TIPNG), is gravely concerned about the serious deterioration of the police force throughout Papua New Guinea.
TIPNG chairman Peter Aitsi said certain rouge members of the police force were fast becoming glorified security guards with their services being paid for by people and organisations with money and questioned if it was not the job of the police to uphold our constitution and laws.
Aitsi said: “ The functions of the police is to protect the people of Papua New Guinea, and upholding the laws of PNG in an impartial and objective manner is an obligation and responsibility placed on the police through the constitution.”
He quoted the long serving police officer, John Mombre’s statement in the Post-Courier in late January this year of the rampant corruption in the police force, adding that 99% of policemen who breached traffic rules in PNG did not get arrested.
He further cited the recent incident of the public witnessing a young security guard from a private company owned by a senior police officer brandishing a police issued firearm as confirmed by the police investigators.
Aitsi said allowing the security guard to possess a police issued firearm equates to a conflict of interest on the part of the senior police officer and seriously contravened the public service general orders amounting to illegal and unauthorised use or theft of a government asset (the firearm).
“The police commissioner, as a constitutional office holder, should demonstrate and take appropriate action where necessary to ensure this suspended senior officer is fully investigated and appropriate action taken,” he said.
“Another example of conflict of interest is the alleged involvement of a hire car company owned by the police minister engaged to supply vehicles to the Police Department.
The police commissioner should investigate the tendering process involved to engage the ministers company with the police force.”
TIPNG said lack of initiative to lead reforms within the police force had contributed significantly to the deterioration of the force to a point where only strong transparent management from the top could ensure true disciplined policing.