ACTING Deputy Commissioner of Police Fred Yakasa has expressed disgust over the reported attack on police officers by criminals in Mt Hagen last week, describing it as “animalistic behaviour” perpetrated by uncivilised people.
Yakasa vowed that police would do everything within its powers to arrest and charge those responsible, adding that these were actions of individuals who did not deserve to live in the society with other peace-loving law abiding citizens of Western Highlands and PNG.
The acting deputy commissioner made the remarks following reports of policemen coming under heavy gunfire.
The exchange took place when Mt Hagen police were in pursuit of a vehicle heading towards Keluga No 2 and Bukapena near Mt Hagen city following the robbery of the Monpi Coffee Company.
Police believed the five men in the vehicle were responsible for the robbery and shooting incident.
“Police are mandated to provide a safe and secure society.
“We are there for everyone and do not deserve this kind of treatment.
“It is a national disgrace and we cannot continue to tolerate such behaviour,” Yakasa said, and warned criminals that police would shoot back if fired upon.
He called for various provisions of the Criminal Code to be revisited to bring on tougher penalties.
“While I do not consider the death sentence as an acceptable mode of penalty to redress for serious crimes in the changing society, but the law must be very tough on such people.
“I also plead with those who know the identities of the suspects, or have any information that might lead to their arrest, to come forward.”
Yakasa applauded efforts of the Mt Hagen police officers which led to the arrest of two suspects and urged his men to continue their investigations and bring all the other suspects at large to face the full force of the law.
Meanwhile, he appealed for people to be more responsible.
He said such organisations like Monpi Coffee provided services to the majority rural population, adding that it was also providing income earning opportunities for a lot of people and such actions could have a negative impact on a lot of people.