The National, Thursday 29th December 2011
By ZACHERY PER
CHIMBU is the latest highlands province to join the crackdown on alcohol abuse.
It followed the Western Highlands which, last Friday, announced a 12-month grog ban in the light of worsening crime linked to liquor and drugs.
The Chimbu ban, however, is seasonal – it will last until the second week of January.
Its get-tough stance on abusers leaves Eastern Highlands as the only highlands province not to come up with measures to control drunkenness among its youth and crack down hard on alcohol-induced crimes.
Indefinite liquor bans had been in force for more than 10 years in resource-rich Southern Highlands and Enga provinces because of sudden rise in alcohol-related crimes and social problems. However, despite these bans, alcohol continued to be smuggled through police roadblocks and disused bush paths.
Chimbu police commander Supt John Kale said he was enforcing the restriction on instructions from the provincial liquor licensing commission, adding that illegal home brewers and marijuana smokers and possessors were also being targeted.
Eastern Highlands police commander Augustine Wampe has not received instructions from the province’s liquor board, however, he assured the public yesterday that police would ensure there was peace in the coming days.
Newly-formed Jiwaka province police chief Billy Kombel said his men were targeting home brewers in Tolu which he described as the worst crime spot in the province where more than 10 people had been arrested in ongoing police operations against anti-social behaviour.