The AFP Mission Commander, Bruce Giles, officially presented five vehicles, four 60 horsepower (HP) mercury engines, police uniforms and general purpose (GP) boots to the acting Deputy Chief of the Bougainville Police Service, Chief Superintendent Paul Kamuai.
Commander Giles said: “Even though we are not present here on Bougainville, the APF mission in PNG always has the heart to assist the BPS in whatever ways we can. This logistical assistance is our contribution to the Bougainville Police in line with the New Zealand and other pacific island countries who are already on the ground to assist in the referendum security.”
Commander Giles also pledged APF assistance to train BPS investigators through the declarative training programs they are facilitating in the country and overseas.
Acting Deputy Chief Kamuai thanked the people and government of Australia for the assistance, saying that it came at a time when they needed help the most.
CSP Kamuai said: “The Bougainville referendum election is a significant event happening in the country and the world is closely monitoring how it is going to unfold.
“I must admit that it is a testing time for BPS to design and deploy an effective and competent security overlay during the referendum period. Whilst the assistance from the government is slow in coming, we could not have been comfortable as we are today, if it wasn’t for your assistance. Your support has given us confidence to take on this challenge.”
CSP Kamuai further stated that the island is made up of rugged terrains surrounded by small atolls that makes it inaccessible for daily policing.
“We normally exhaust the limited resources that we have and I have no doubt that these assets will be put into good use for the benefit of the people that they are intended for,” Kamuai said, adding that the assistance has boosted the general standard and morale of the Bougainville Police to go further in the quest to provide a safe and secure environment for the referendum to take place.