TIPNG says while appreciating the measures to address the spread of COVID-19, comments made by the victims suggest that police actions may have gone beyond what is considered reasonable force.
“The country has seen increase in violence in the last 12 months, this incident along with others such as the alleged shooting and killing of two men in Central Province, with allegations of police involvement, creates fear within the community and adds to lack of trust,” said TIPNG Board Chair, Peter Aitsi.
“Earlier this month there was an international media coverage of the issue, with Al Jazeera releasing footage of policing in Port Moresby. The detaining of a media employee so soon after these events does not bode well for the reputation of PNG,” said Mr Aitsi.
He said the public expects leaders to do more than make politically convenient decisions.
“Leaders should revisit the recommendations from the Report of the Royal PNG Constabulary Administrative Review Committee 2004, and consider implementing actions that can bring improvement to our law and order situation.
“Another way to restore public trust is to ensure reports of Police misconduct and incidents of abuse of power are properly investigated and outcomes of investigations be publicly communicated.
“Clear and firm support needs to be given to the office and officers of the Police Internal Affairs Directorate from the highest leadership of the Police Department and from our Executive Arm of Government.
“We must remember that a more effective police force will ensure a safer environment for our communities, which will go a long way to improving our law and order situation, and create conducive conditions to retain and attract investors,” said Mr Aitsi.