Tough stance against street vendors, petty criminals

Lae Police have stepped up the arrests of street vendors and petty criminals.

Lae metropolitan superintendent, Anthony Wagambie Jnr, said police have been making an average of about 15 arrests a day.

“I have issued directives that there will be no spot fines issued to those offenders. Police will only make arrests when they are caught in the act,” he stated.

“Spot fines were previously issued by the City Council but this has not had any effect.

“It also has the tendency of being abused where accepting bribes crept in.

“Opportunists also take advantage by pretending to be employed by the Council, and use threats to get money off people.

“There will be no more spot fines for street vending. Police will only effect arrest and leave it to the Court to decide on.

“Many of the street vendors arrested in the recent weeks and days are repeat offenders. They have been caught by City Council and Police previously and fined. However this has never been a deterrent as they get back out on the streets and continue their trade.

“Street selling does not only make our city filthy but also leads to petty crimes such as bag snatching and harassment of law abiding public at public areas.

“I also thank the District Court for issuing out penalties according to the circumstances they were arrested for.”

Press release