Judge concerned with Cops conduct

Police men witnessing crimes being committed by their colleagues must be prepared to report those officers, says Justice Panuel Mogish.

The senior judge of the National and Supreme Court called for a change in tactic, when recently sentenced two cops to 8 years in prison for armed robbery.

He said those above in the police hierarchy must leave the comfort of their offices and attend to allegations of police impropriety to restore the image of RPNGC.

He said the offenses committed by serving members of the RPNGC is spiraling out of control.

“The media continues to report mayhems committed by policemen from mass destruction of property, to assaulting and killing of innocent civilians, extorting money from victims and the list goes on.

“Many of those incidents go unreported, Police hierarchy cannot do much except use the much common excuse that they are yet to receive a formal complaint from the victims.

“How can they expect a report to come through when their own police men are involved? A change of tactics is called for. Police men witnessing crimes being committed by their colleagues must be prepared to report those officers,” he said.

Judge Mogish also said the consequences of being convicted has implications to police officer’s status.

“As pointed out by counsels, they stand to be dismissed under the police act 1998.

“Section 33(2) of the Police Act makes it explicit that a member of the police force who is convicted by a court of an offense, that involves dishonesty, or for which a term of imprisonment is imposed shall be dismissed immediately from the force,” he added.

Meanwhile Deputy Commissioner Administrations Raphael Huafolo said Corrupt and undisciplined police officers will not be harboured as they have no place in the Force.

He said many policemen have been dealt with in regards to disciplinary issues between 2015 and 20117.

250 of them were dismissed from the force upon convictions by the courts and through the internal Police disciplining process.

“This was in response to concerns made by the public that the Police hierarchy was not taking action on members of the force who were undisciplined, corrupt or abusive,” Deputy Commissioner Huafolo said.

 He said the Constabulary will not stop taking action against its members although dismissing the undisciplined, corrupt and abusive members would affect the Constabulary’s intention to raise the number of police personnel up to the Government approved strength of 10,000 police officers by 2018.

Sally Pokiton