Working ties in policing will see real benefits

Main Stories, National

The National, Monday December 16th, 2013

 LAE last Friday welcomed 13 Australian police officers who will assist their local counterparts on community policing and other police work.

An Australian Federal Police statement said the officers would work in areas such as public safety, sexual offences, criminal investigations, traffic, section management and supervisions and community liaison.

The contingent is part of a larger group of 50 officers who will be stationed in Port Moresby and Lae. 

The programme will later include other centres. 

Thirty officers arrived in Port Moresby last month following a request by the Government through the Australia-PNG partnership programme for policing assistance. 

AFP Assistant Commissioner Alan Scott said his policemen would be working as “advisers and mentors”.

“The residents of Lae can expect to see AFP officers out and about over the next few weeks in markets, shopping areas and other parts of Lae, working closely with their RPNGC counterparts,” Scott said.

Scott said the AFP members would inspect stations, mentor and provide advice.

“While they will have no formal policing powers, the close working relationship will see real benefits for day-to-day policing in Lae,” Scott said.

The AFP in a statement said its officers engaged under this programme will not:

  • Replace or take over the role of local officers;
  • undertake executive policing functions; and,
  • Arrest or charge any person with an offence under domestic laws.

Morobe Governor Kelly Naru said the provincial government and people were ready to assist them.

“While I admit that it (AFP deployment to Lae) will not solve our problems immediately, I believe that the full impact of these programmes will be felt in the long run,” Naru said.

Australian High Commissioner Deborah Stokes said at the heart of this new deployment programme was partnership.

“The aim is to work with the RPNGC to help it strengthen its capacity to deliver effective and visible policing services,” Stokes said.