Taser guns, rubber bullets for police personnel

Tear gas, taser guns (stun guns) and rubber bullets are some of the options under the non-lethal rules of engagement.

These are some of the initiatives that will be applied by the Royal PNG Constabulary in policing, especially when it involves tense situations. It is hoped these measures will limit the escalation of violence.

There have been numerous incidents where members of the public are killed by police during confrontations or unrests. The most recent shooting death occurred at Erima on September 28th when settlers clashed with members of the force.

Police Minister Bryan Kramer says the Royal PNG Constabulary will now be taking a proactive approach with the application of tear gas, taser guns and latest technologies that other countries use to address riots and calm down tense situations.

“To avoid similar issues that happened in Erima and HB (2015 Hanuabada shooting) and other cases, even in Alotau is the revisiting of the rules of engagement by police to avoid unlawful killings or involving members of the public being shot. And so some of those initiatives are considering non-lethal rules of engagement; introduction of rubber bullets, bean bags, tasers, gas cylinders and also vehicles that fire water cannons, which we have three in-country.”

Furthermore, in terms of protecting police, cameras will be introduced under the modernisation program.

“Body cameras as well as dash cams within vehicles,” said Minister Kramer.

“We have already advanced discussions. We have a pile of projects and design, even in cameras, inside police stations, in cells, to address the issue of police brutality.

“So now police will be held accountable and at the same time, these technologies will protect their reputation because they keep getting accused of police brutality. So it will serve as a tool to protect them as well as protect the public.”

The non-lethal approach includes discouraging police personnel from directly engaging with members of the public until the command and control issues instructions after assessing the situation.

Carmella Gware