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18 July 2014

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Sil - why do the police claim they have no petrol and can't pursue a criminal? Same thing happened to us when trying to rescue our sister-in-law. We ended up paying bribes and coughing up for petrol before the police did anything.

It shouldn't be like this.

(By the way, the picture is from the southern end of Kundiawa airstrip, locally known as 'the end of the world'. Perhaps we now know why.)

During my time as a Kiap, virtually all patrol posts had a small detachment of Police who lived and worked in the area.

I think that their mere presence (and the Kiap's) was sufficient to ensure that most incidents like this one were almost immediately referred to the local Kiap and then promptly investigated.

It usually was not rocket science to find the guilty party. I used to marvel at how frequently a crime was witnessed or the perpetrator would do something epically stupid to reveal themselves.

As Phil has said, it seems to me that the RPNGC needs to either restructure or otherwise extend its operations to ensure that the Police are a constant presence in the bush.

Evidence from just about everywhere in the world strongly suggests that, when it comes to effective policing, there is no substitute for "boots on the ground".

This was the basis of the colonial administration and it worked pretty well. There seems to be no reason why it ought not work now.

Thinking about this and other incidents in PNG, as well as the general state of the country, I'm starting to come round to the view that what PNG needs immediately is a massive investment in its police force.

I was in Vanuatu recently and to all intents and purposes it looks just like PNG. However there is nowhere there I wouldn't feel comfortable walking around alone, even at night. Australian tourists go to Vanuatu but they don't go to PNG.

The killing happened a week after my article ('In Simbu, the Maryjane druggies are given special recognition') was published in PNG Attitude.

The deceased and the thug are both from our hamlet (clan). The police as usual have no fuel and manpower and so they asked us to take the law into our own hands and become judge, jury and executioner when the murderer broke out of the cells after we did our part in apprehending him.

The State (police) now wants us to apprehend (kill) the father (who is also an addict and murderer) and the son. Both are armed. This is all in the traditional way (eye for an eye).

Should the community listen to the police and kill them? What will the courts say if we kill them and a relative takes us to court?

We implore the State and the educated men and women of our area and the community to collectively help apprehend the murderer so we can appeal for life imprisonment in the courts rather than opt for eye for an eye, which will have a negative chain reaction.

If the whereabouts of the culprit is known, where is the police?


Peter, well done. You are back on track for your well known narratives. They create a lot of drama and bring us into the climax of having an analogy with the rising anti-social behaviour and issues within every society of Papua New Guinea.

I loved reading your article for it added flavour to the happenings and will convey a moral lesson and obligation for others to take heed of these issues.

Peter has given an excellent example of the symptoms of the disease. The disease itself appears out of control.

The only answer to this disease is effective leadership and administrative control.

I nogat narapla marasin.

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