Special Madang police operation enters second phase

Phase two of the special police operation ‘Make Madang Safe Again’ has started, with the first two programs seeing over 300 youth surrender.

This includes the prime suspects in cult killings and those involved in the beheading of a teacher in 2018.

Twenty-five police personnel, made up of eleven members of the Port Moresby-based Airborne Tactical Unit, and fourteen members of the Northern Special Group from Lae, are in Madang for the operation.

“I designed the operation with strategic, targeted outcomes based on my years of engagement with youth, community programs and as a police reservist,” said Madang Open Member of Parliament, Bryan Kramer.

The electorate has been divided into five main zones; Madang Urban, North Ambenob, South Ambenob, Transgogol Zone 1 and Transgogol Zone 2.

Police will deploy four teams in each of the rural zones with specific tasking and conduct a joint operation in Madang Urban.

“Task 1 is for the police to visit each village in the five zones. This involves teams walking through the village and settlements to make their presence known and to familiarise themselves with the location. They also meet with community leaders to organise an awareness program and community leaders are tasked to organise a community meeting,” Kramer said.

Task 2 is when police return to villages and meet with community members to explain the purpose of the operation. This gives the community the opportunity to be involved by providing intelligence and participating in the next stage, which is the community surrender program. 

“Task 3 is community leaders organise surrender programs. They inform known criminals living in the community, who are accused of murders, armed robbery and rape, to surrender under the special police operation. This includes youth who are known drug users or consumers of homebrew,” Kramer said.

Task 4 occurs during the lead up to the surrender program, when police collect intelligence on specific individuals known to be serious criminals.

“Task 5 is the surrender program. Police document each and every suspect who surrenders by taking their names, descriptions, photos and GPS coordinates of their homes. 

“Offenders with serious offences are taken into custody and processed at the police station while those who were users of drugs and consumers of homebrew are cautioned and released back to the community on good behaviour. 

“Police explain to them they are on record, including their places of residence, and warn that if there are any further reports of them using drugs or homebrew, they face police raids and criminal charges could be laid,” Kramer explained. 

Tasks 6, 7, 8 and 9 include the establishing of law and order committees (LOC) to create community by-laws to manage law and order in partnership with village courts and police; establishing an intelligence unit to collect information about known drug users and homebrew consumers, including supply chains; police track down and cut off the supply chain of drugs and homebrew; and police capture serious offenders who refuse to surrender.

“In conjunction with Phase 2 of the operation, we will also carry out a number of eviction exercises, giving effect to court-ordered evictions of a number of illegal settlements that have become criminal hotspots,” stated the local MP and Police Minister.

“We expect the operation to reduce crime in Madang Open by 90 percent. Criminals who don’t surrender will flee the province to avoid capture, thus restoring Madang to the way it used to be; safe.

“At the end of the three-month operation we expect over 10,000 youth from throughout the electorate to have participated in one of the 262 planned surrender programs.”

Kramer said phase 3 will include the rollout of community policing programs and deployment of twelve new police vehicles to the district. Two vehicles will be assigned to each zone and four in Madang Urban. The vehicles will undertake daily patrols of each of the five zones, meet with LOCs and respond to any reported incident – day or night.

Phase 4 includes construction of rural police lock-ups throughout the electorate. Designated vehicles will be stationed at each, allowing quick response times.

“The Provincial Police Commander who took part in this operation messaged me to say that, in his thirty years of service in the police force, including countless deployments in the highlands and during the Bougainville crisis, he has never seen an operation as effective as the one conducted in Madang. He asked if the program could be documented and deployed in the other five districts in the province. 

“I told him that is the plan, and that I intend to deploy similar operations throughout the country, starting with the most problematic districts which face the same law and order issues,” Kramer said.

(Picture from ‘Kramer Report’ Facebook page)

Press release