There has been a decrease in crime levels in Lae due to joint community efforts between the Lae Police and the public, and the launching of new and effective policing strategies.
According to Lae Police Boss, Anthony Wagambie Jr, there is now an average of one armed robbery per month, or none at all.
Last week, an attempted armed robbery was foiled after members of the community alerted police, using the toll-free number.
Three of the suspects were apprehended by the Sector Response Unit, arrested and charged.
Early this week, the Lae Police started the Community Networking Program to strengthen partnerships with the general public. This program started with a meeting with the Lae Media, followed by a public forum at the Bumbu Settlement.
Mr Wagambie said the Lae police are now taking this approach to host forums in public areas, in order to get feedback from the general public. He further added that they will be expecting a lot of criticisms which will help in improving policing.
“The only way in correcting ourselves is by getting criticized…When we get criticisms then we can work forward in addressing them and correct the way we operate.”
Community members at the Bumbu settlement seized the opportunity to air their frustrations over various issues concerning police operations in the city.
Mr Wagambie said community partnership is vital in ensuring safer communities, and grievances aired will be taken into consideration.
Mr Wagambie was accompanied by his officers as well as the Lae MP, John Rosso, who is in support of the community and police partnership.
“This kind of leadership of sitting down and talking to the community shows that we are trying to be transparent, and the police force is trying to be transparent in its ways of dealing with the public,” said Mr Rosso.
More of these public forums will be hosted in different parts of the city at later dates.
“In Lae, we will work with the guidance and advice from the community… We need feedback to ensure better policing,” Mr Wagambie said.