Community Policing brings police and citizens together to prevent crime and solves neighborhood problems at the most local level.
At ATS Oro Communities in Port Moresby, EMTV Online met a Community Policing team as they were in action carrying out awareness on Saturday 14, January 2018.
From afar, the voice of police officers can be heard addressing community members as they went from streets to streets telling people to refrain from the evika (homebrew) business, marijuana sale and consumption, illegal sales of liquor, illegal sale of land and other matters of importance.
According to Commanding Officer Constable Farapo, the Oro Community Policing (OCP) works together with Oro Community Development Association (OCDA) looking after the communities including ATS First Block, ATS Second Block and ATS Third Block. Established in 2013, the OCP addresses law and order issues that arise within the ATS Communities.
“Troubles that occur in these communities are solved by our team, instead of getting officers at Gordons Police Station to solve them,” Mr Farapo told EMTV Online. Matters which are serious and cannot be handled by the OCP are referred to Gordons police station.
During their New Year operations, the ATS OCP team has apprehended a community member who was in charge of an illegal firearm; the malefactor is now in custody. Constable Farapo said they also apprehended a stolen vehicle and handed it to Gordons police Station. But not only these.
“Our greatest achievement over new year operations was when we retrieved 250 live ammunition in a box which belonged to someone who claims to be the bodyguard of the Secretary for the Department of Finance.” Mr Farapo said.
All three communities put together makes the task of tackling law and order issues very challenging, hence Constable Farapo urges the dwellers to support his men to make their communities livable. He also said, the ATS Communities are privileged to have the OCP, because other settlements in the city do not have such.
On an online survey in 2014 whilst being the Provincial Police Commander (PPC) for Jiwaka Province, current Southern Highlands PPC Chief Superintendent Joseph Tondop highlighted that community’s participation in policing is of paramount importance and all members of the general community recognise the importance of total community engagement in the fight against crime and general lawlessness in the community.
“It must be remembered that members of the police are also members of the community we serve.” Tondop said.
According to Tondop, although the police are mandated to respond to all acts of disorder and violence to restore peace and good order in the community thereby maintaining respect for the rule of law, without the community’s support, that is an impossible task.
UNICEF PNG has recorded the story of Anne Aina, a mother of two who lives in Morata Settlement and a victim of domestic violence who then sets up a community policing team with the help of Sergeant Deakin and other women. They eventually build a safe house for women and children which helps a lot of women and children.
Community policing has been a policy of the RPNGC for many years and is aimed to maintain public order and safety, enforcing the law, and preventing, detecting, and investigating criminal activities within communities.