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A significant risk of robbery near Parlt House...

Thanks to Richard Jones and Phil Fitzpatrick for providing us with such an interesting debate in Recent Comments.

So what does the Australian Government’s Smart Traveller website have to say about the safety and security situation in PNG?

Overall it gives our nearest neighbour a ‘High Degree of Caution’ flag. Let’s face it, even taking into account  DFAT’s notorious prudence when it comes to these assessments, it’s not a real good wrap for a country in which Australia has such a vested interest - and for which we have assumed such great responsibility.

Here’s an extract, and a link to the full advisory is provided below.

We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in PNG because of the high levels of serious crime. Pay close attention to your personal security at all times and monitor the media for information about possible new safety or security risks.

Crime is random and particularly prevalent in urban areas such as Port Moresby, Lae and Mt Hagen. Settlement areas of towns and cities are particularly dangerous. Violence and use of 'bush knives' (machetes) and firearms are often used in assault and theft attempts. Carjackings, assaults (including sexual assaults), bag snatching and robberies are common. Banks and automatic teller machines are increasingly targeted.

Although most crime is opportunistic, there have been incidents of robbery in which expatriates have been targeted in their homes or workplaces. There have been a small number of high profile kidnappings for ransom.

There is a significant risk of robbery and carjacking in the area near Parliament House in the Waigani suburb of Port Moresby and along the highway between Lae and the Nadzab Airport, particularly between the two and nine mile settlement areas.

Walking after dark is particularly dangerous in Port Moresby and other urban centres. All travel at night should be made by car, with doors locked and windows up.

Due to the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS, victims of violent crime, especially rape, are strongly encouraged to seek immediate medical assistance.

The Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary faces a number of obstacles, including limited resources, and this may affect police response times in the event of crime. Many businesses, including the High Commission, employ private security companies to help deliver a prompt response to calls for assistance.

You can read the full DFAT travel advisory for PNG here.

Meanwhile, in PNG, after several recent high-profile murders, the death penalty is on the agenda. PNG law allows for people to be sentenced to death by hanging but it has never been enforced.

Attorney-General Dr Alan Marat said today there are no regulations governing how an execution should be conducted and he’s asked his department to draw them up. "I want to take that regulation to cabinet for endorsement but it's just not ready, but as soon as it's ready maybe we start implementing," he said.


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