Unplanned settlements a concern for police

Acting Police Commissioner, David Manning, said the Constabulary is quite concerned about the general law and order situation within the NCD, where the city has an estimated population of 1.2 million people.

“This number I am told is increasing on a daily basis as we have people coming in from the other provinces,” Manning said in a press briefing regarding the Erima disturbance.

“Unplanned settlements are increasing at an alarming rate and if not contained will pose a serious law and order challenge for the NCD police.

“We cannot develop this city by holding onto the current attitude and behaviour that we currently have.

“For the city we need to ensure that city regulations and requirements are being complied with. All buildings being erected within the city limits must get the necessary approvals, including building board approvals. Shops must be issued with licences to trade. Liquor licences should not be given to everyone and should be restricted.

“It appears that almost all tucker shops within the NCD have liquor licences. Now the biggest question to ask is, are these liquor licences legally obtained or genuine?”

Manning said there is some indication that the incident on Saturday night was alcohol fueled.

“And if you only look back at the crime statistics in the last decade or so in Port Moresby, a lot of these incidents, crime reports have indicated alcohol being involved.

“I call upon the NCDC to, in the first instance, revisit all the liquor licences given out so far with a view to cancelling those especially within residential areas. The sale of alcohol should be encouraged only at main shops, bars and restaurants and not in residential areas, especially within the settlements.

“For the Constabulary as Acting Commissioner I intend to drive change through effective leadership and discipline.

“And I’m not completely lost to the fact that there may have been lapses in our leadership and the members’ conduct in terms of discipline, in this particular instance.

“I will be demanding for improved police performance, improved discipline and more accountability. We are a service oriented organisation and will strive to serve our people wherever they are, whoever they are, without fear or favour, malice or ill-will.”

(Acting Police Commissioner, David Manning)

Carmella Gware