Milne Bay leaders work to curb rising lawlessness

Milne Bay Governor John Crittin has vowed to work with Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer and Alotau MP, Charles Abel, to address the issues in Alotau contributing to law and order problems.

The Governor said the Province has changed from a once peaceful town into a dangerous area following rising criminal activity.

Recently several houses were burnt to the ground and a woman fatally shot after police and criminals exchanged gunfire at Kitava Compound in Alotau.

Governor Crittin said the issues in Alotau stem from a growing population in search of opportunities.

However amongst them are opportunities resulting in a spike in criminal activity.

“I feel sorry because Milne Bay was always the place where it was peaceful and people like to go on holiday there and so forth. Not anymore.  You’ve got pick-pocketers and everything in there,” said Governor Crittin.

The Deputy Prime Minister said the recent incident in which an elderly woman was shot and several houses burnt was unfortunate.

He said there is a group orchestrating a series of criminal activities and called on them to surrender to police.

“I say to the leaders, come forward and surrender yourself, to the church authorities if that makes you feel more comfortable. You will face the full process of the law but we will ensure your safety,” Abel said.

Abel also called on the police to exercise due care when trying to address law and orders issues as the effects are felt by the wider public.

“We appreciate the support of the police in Milne Bay, we appreciate the good work of the police in general, but in all things Police must exercise due responsibility and care,” he said.

He said the Police will remain in the province to deter further criminal activities.

Abel said he will travel to Alotau and visit the people of Kitava Compound whom he says he has a long and deep relationship with.

“I will go and speak to our people and we will do our best to continue to support our people in what way we can who are being affected by this incident.”

(Milne Bay Governor John Crittin)


Cedric Patjole