WITH SO MUCH public criticism directed at the poor performance of the Royal PNG Constabulary, the government should direct the police hierarchy to implement the recommendations of a so-called review undertaken two years ago.
There appears to have been no progress made on the police implementing the recommendations to drastically improve the constabulary’s operational performance.
It is not clear what the government expects of its police force other than do its traditional job of enforcing the rule of law.
It is time the government focused on developing a professional police institution distinct from the defence force that would be responsible for internal security.
PNG needs a more dispersed, visible, accessible and service-orientated police force which will interact with the community and society.
The force‘s primary duty will be to protect citizens and property.
The government must aim to totally professionalise the police so that it becomes:
· more effective (that is, better at law enforcement)
· non-political and more accountable
· humane and committed to using minimal physical force
· law abiding and closely integrated into the civil community
· responsive to community needs
· better organised, better trained and better equipped
· operationally effective in urban, rural and border areas
· capable of pursuing complex investigations
· professionally managed
This will not be hard to achieve if we can better use domestic resources and complement these with international support in certain specialised and technical areas.
An obvious resource that the government has overlooked for many years that we should have already fully tapped into a long time ago is to fully engage former government, military and police members as well as current members of the constabulary and the community.