Workers unite to fight petty crimes

National, Normal


MORE than 100 employees from 36 different organisations in Lae city are standing together against petty crimes in Lae’s main bus stops.
The theme “Let us make Lae safe” (LUMLS), initiated by multi-million kina companies,  KK Kingston and Hornibrook, was backed by Colgate-Palmolive, Dunlop Tyres, Rabtrade, Guard Dog Security, Laga Industries, Telikom PNG, Andersons Foodland, Nestle-PNG, and the International School of Lae and St Paul’s Primary School.
Deputy chairman of the committee Quill Balen said yesterday that workers were fed up of being harassed by mobs of jobless men and youths at the main bus stops.
“The city bus stops have become a “cowboy area” without police to enforce law,” Balen said.
Pick-pockets and drunkards have been going around in groups loitering around main bus stops and streets and forcefully snatching bags, valuable items and shopping bags.
And the few people who tried to defend themselves, their wives or others from attackers, sustained injuries.
Women, children, young girls and school pupils were prone to attacks during the day.
“The public hates the aggressive attitudes but watches helplessly in fear of repercussions,” Balen said.
LUMLS came into effect early last month after a street thug removed a cell phone from a woman at the Top Town bus stop.
Sympathetic bystanders who assisted the woman to retrieve the phone were attacked by a mob who went to the aid of the thief and injured some men.
Employees from KK Kingston and Hornibrook organised a meeting for all concerned at St Paul’s Primary School.
To address the situation, an interim executive and a working committee was formed to actively involve all law enforcement agencies with the workers and their employers.
Balen said the LUMLS vision was to make Lae safe to live in, adding that the body represented all the employees in Lae who were fed up of the ongoing criminal and violent activities.
“The group will voice and execute a desired action on behalf of all employees in every company, institution or organisation in Lae towards achieving the desired level of peace and safety by concerned citizens,” Balen said.
LUMLS would work with existing organisations to achieve better results.
The interim executive is chairman David Yawing of Laga Industries, vice-chairman  Balen from Colgate-Palmolive, secretary Baksie Namuesh of Guard Dog Security and treasurer is Hone Mura of the Telikom College.
The working committee is Huti Hase from Rabtrad-Andersons, Hubert O’oru from Hornibrook and Francesca Sori of Dunlop Tyres.
A meeting at St Paul’s drill hall is on Nov 30.