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Police warned of ‘zero tolerance’

Saturday 30 May 2015 | Published in Regional


PORT MORESBY – Papua New Guina’s new Police Commissioner Gari Baki has sounded his strict zero tolerance on police brutality and extra-judicial killings, warning police personnel “not to step out of line”.

He said “corrupt, abusive and lazy policemen had no place in the constabulary”.

“If I have to sack half of the current numbers within the constabulary for corruption and or abusive behaviour, then so be it,” Baki saidy, adding that as an outsider for the past five years he had come to realise that the public fear of the police force was “very real”.

“The media has a vital role in this regard. You can inform, educate and hold members of the constabulary accountable for their actions.

“Please, I urge you to do your job without fear or favour,” the new Police Commissioner said.

Alleged police corruption, abuses and cases of brutality would be swiftly addressed, Baki said.

He added that accused policemen and women would be charged forthwith, and they would have to provide statements, witnesses and evidence clearing them of any misconduct, abuse or corruption charges.

“I will now be placing the burden of proof on members of the constabulary in cases where they have been accused of being corrupt, abusive or simply failed to take necessary and appropriate action.”

Baki said discipline, command and control, which were his priorities for providing leadership, must be maintained in order for the constabulary to perform to the expectations of stakeholders.

“Absence of discipline and command and control will see poor to nil delivery of policing services to the public.

“Policemen and women are doing as they please with no regard for the due processes and the law.

“I will ensure the constabulary’s disciplinary processes are strengthened and strictly observed by all.”

Baki expected all members of the constabulary to be disciplined on the spot and counselled by their superiors for minor disciplinary offences.

“Constant correction and grooming is required to nurture young members of the constabulary to become professional policemen and women,” Commissioner Baki said.

Baki also said he will be reviewing a policing arrangement that has 73 Australian Federal Police officers deployed in the country.

The unarmed AFP officers work with local police in the capital Port Moresby and Lae to provide training as part of the deal with PNG to host the Manus Island detention centre.

Baki said the current group of AFP officers appeared not to have reporting responsibilities to his office, which he said raised concerns the partnership was not in line with PNG police modernisation objectives.

Baki has also announced an comprehensive organisational restructuring of Papua New Guinea’s constabulary.