Metropolitan Superintendent Anthony Wagambie Jnr confirmed with Loop PNG that 17 of the male prisoners were killed during the escape, three were recaptured and 57 are still at large.
“We anticipate an increase in criminal activities in the city, with these people on the run. The public must be vigilant,” Wagambie Jnr said.
“The majority of those that escaped were arrested for serious crimes and were in custody awaiting trial.”
The Lae Police boss appealed to the 57 prisoners still on the run to surrender.
“I also call on family members and close associates of those that escaped, not to harbour them, but to encourage them to surrender to police,” Wagambie Jnr said.
“If they (escapees) fear for their safety, they can go through their community leaders, church elders or family members to be brought to me so that I can ensure they are safely brought back to Buimo.
“Operations will be planned and properly coordinated to recapture the escapees. I appeal to them to surrender now if they know what is good for them.”