BY BUSTIN ANZU
MOROBE police have done well to maintain law and order despite the lack of manpower and logistical support, provincial police Chief Supt Peter Guinness said.
“It’s a large province in terms of population and land mass but police were able to addresses the issues head on.
“Last year was not good for us.
“We were stretched to the limit with limited equipment but we walked the extra mile to tackle law and order-related issues,” he said at a festive police operations barbecue gathering at the botanical gardens in Lae last weekend.
Supt Guiness said the tension between the Biangaes and Watut in Wau was prevented from escalating after many houses, food gardens and human lives were lost in a two-day riot last May.
The Sialum cargo cult issue was another major threat among the local communities and almost claimed lives of the rural patrol unit and mobile squad 13 members.
“In that operation, we arrested and charged 46 people in relation to cargo cult activities.
“Subsequently, each of the offenders were sentenced to two years jail after the Lae District Court found them guilty.
“Two police officers were also injured during the riot in Sialum, near Finschhafen.”
Supt Guinness warned cult activists to steer clear of trouble.
“The conviction of the 46 is a lesson to all involved in cult activities.
“We will not hesitate to arrest and charged people who continue to participate in such activities,” he said.
He said officers from his command were also engaged in the Kandep by-elections and returned with great experiences of policing in the Highlands.
The combined police and CS manhunt to track down the 73 escapees from Buimo CS was also another challenge.
“Although we could not recapture all the fugitives, we were able to work together.
“I also wish to thank business houses and the people for their great support during such hard times,” he added.
Momase regional commander and Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Giossi Labi commended Chief Supt Guinness for a wonderful job in maintaining law and order.
“Momase police have been over-looked when it comes to distribution of resources and logistics. Priority was given to the Highlands.
“We also have mining and business activities in the region just like the highlands and others,” he said.
He said mobile squad 15 would return from Bulolo when they had completed their assignment in East Taraka in Lae.
“I am running out of patience. I gave them five years to fix my officers’ accommodation.
“My officers have been living in some of the most deplorable conditions that you can find,” he added.
ACP Labi, who celebrated 39 years of service in the force last Tuesday, took his hat off to the officers in Morobe, including the rest of Momase region, for performing their policing duties with limited resources and logistical support.
He reiterated his statement that there would not be new vehicles as the allocation from the National Government was not enough.
“We have to make use of what we have right now.
“We don’t have enough fleets and the ones that have been donated by the local MPs must be used resourcefully,” he said.