Police Commissioner calls for death penalty

Police Commissioner David Manning has called for the death penalty to be imposed on “cop killers”.

He made the call whilst condemning the latest killing of a policeman in the gold mining township of Porgera in Enga Province.

“I have said it before and I will say it again, we cannot have policemen attacked and killed in such manner by criminal members of society. The Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary is the embodiment of Government and State and an attack on police is an attack on these institutions,” stated the Commissioner.

“The death penalty must be imposed on anyone who kills a policeman. I am therefore calling upon our legislators to take this into consideration and amend or enact appropriate laws to serve as deterrent to such criminal behaviours.”

A massive combined Police and PNG Defence Force operation is currently underway in Porgera and neighbouring areas to flush out the criminals responsible for the shooting of the policeman.

“The suspect who killed the policeman is known. We know who he is and we know his associates. We will find them,” Manning said.

Today, a special charter will fly the Acting Deputy Commissioner Operations Donald Yamasombi, Assistant Commissioner Operations Samson Kua and Director Special Services Division Superintendent Julius Tasion to Porgera to assess the situation.

“They will recommend the next course of action to take. However, I have briefed Prime Minister James Marape on what has happened and suggested that a State of Emergency be declared in Porgera,” Commissioner Manning said.

Commissioner Manning also expressed his intention to establish in the medium to long term an internal security force comprising Police and sister disciplined forces to combat the sporadic tribal fights within the highlands of PNG and the emergence of violent gangs around the country, such as the Tommy Baker Gang.

“A major component of this will be intelligence driven so our intelligence community will be part of this force. Defence and the CIS will be required to come on board. We will of course have to look at enabling legislations and appropriate funding to make this a force to be reckoned with. We cannot be complacent and sit back any more. Fire will have to be fought with fire,” Manning said.

In the meantime, Manning said he will request to Government – through Police Minister Bryan Kramer – for proper safety equipment such as bullet proof vests, helmets and shields for police personnel.

“PNG is becoming a very dangerous country for policemen to work in and their safety and protection is very critical to ensuring that they can go out and continue to protect and serve the 8 million people of PNG.

“I will be meeting the Police Minister (Jan 27) where I will be putting a number of recommendations for him to take up with the Prime Minister and the National Executive Council. It is now time for some tough decisions to be made. Enough is enough.

“I also wish to send my sincerest condolences to the immediate family and colleagues of Constable Timot Kavanamur. It is unfortunate that the life of such a fine young man who had more to offer this country has now been cut short. May God comfort us all in this tragic hour,” Manning said.

Press release