Don’t blame police for deaths: ACP

Police should not be blamed for injuries and deaths that occurred during the January 11th unrest in Lae, Morobe Province.

Assistant Commissioner of Police for Northern Command, Peter Guinness, clarified that the message was clear; remain at home or within your premises.

So far, Lae police have confirmed five deaths and six injuries.

“Why did they come out to the streets? What was their intention and what was their purpose for coming and joining the group to cause trouble?”

Highlighting the Port Moresby rampage on Wednesday, January 10th, ACP Guinness said people thought they could capitalise on the situation in other centres of the country.

“They do not understand and appreciate the fact that these business houses that they wanted to break into and loot, are the same place that they will regularly go to buy their rice and tinned fish. If they damage and destroy it then where will they get their feed from?

They don’t even appreciate the amount of effort and time put into building that business and suddenly, a bunch of people living in the settlements want to come and break in and steal from them.”

Guinness repeated that as the divisional commander, he and his police officers must protect and save lives and properties.

“We did what we did,” he continued. “Unfortunately, five of them were shot and killed. Before that, police were going around and telling all those people not to come out.”


With word going around in Lae that the relatives of the deceased are planning a protest, ACP Guinness said this will not be allowed.


“If they are aggrieved then there are better ways of dealing with it then coming out to protest because it will only create more problems.

“I will not hesitate to use maximum force to stop them from coming out to protest.” 

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