Licences should not be removed at roadblocks: Turi

Police personnel and even MVIL officers should not be removing licences from drivers who are found to be in breach of traffic laws.

The NCD Metropolitan police commander Ben Turi clarified this when speaking about the issue of drivers who have had their licences taken away when checked at roadblocks around the city.

Turi tells Loop PNG that as per directives from the higher police command, policemen are only supposed to be carrying out vehicle and spot checks for suspicious and wanted persons.

He explains that this is part of a city-wide operation set in place as part of the lead-up exercises in anticipation of the FIFA Under 20 Women’s World Cup.

The activities are also to form part of the prerequisite refresher for operations ahead of the 2017 elections and 2018 APEC meets.

Residents are being encouraged to take note of the timings and locations of the roadblocks and report incidences of abuse of process to the nearest station commanders or the metropolitan command in Boroko.

Any station found to be facilitating for such illegal instances, where drivers get their licences withheld by police personnel, will have their station commanders also dealt with.

Clear directives have been given and no personnel must deviate from them, Turi warns.

Officers should ONLY caution, charge or arrest

“Even MVIL officers are not supposed to hold licences as this is a private property, either they deal with the charge and allow the driver to go with a caution,” says Turi.

Turi says that drivers can either be given a warning by the officer concerned or given a traffic infringement notice.

He says that police personnel can give drivers a defective notice and warn them to fix up whatever defect that their vehicle has and then let them go.

“Under no circumstances should police ask for a spot fine then refuse to give a receipt for the fine, in such instances, this is outside of the parameters of the motor traffic act and its fine processes,” explains Turi.

For now, the capital city will see an increase in more police and MVIL checks to ensure that all vehicles, as well as movement of wanted or risky persons, are being dealt with.

Turi says that his personnel, with their other security counterparts, are gearing up to ensure that the upcoming FIFA cup goes well and that all visitors, as well as city residents, enjoy the festivities.

Julianna Waeda