Directive comes with authority

by Theckla Gunga – EM TV, Port Moresby

Deputy Police Commissioner (Operations), Jim Andrews says the directive to decommission two reservist units will come into effect next week.

Andrews said the directive is authorised by Police Commissioner Geoffrey Vaki and police should act upon it.

This follows the recent killings at Hanuabada and an assault on citizens involving police reservists.

The directive from Commissioner Vaki came following alleged police killings in Hanuabada last month.

But sources from the police department said it was a pending decision Vaki announced in November last year. They said the directive is a result of all the killings, police brutality and assault cases that occurred since the reserve unit was created.

Andrews explained that all reservists were stood down in 2004, following the 61 recommendations from the national government.

He said a recent memorandum of understanding was signed between the National Capital District and the Constabulary to establish a reserve unit purposely to police the betel nut ban.

However, much of the duties carried out by this unit were not in compliance with the Police Act.

Andrews said despite the reserve units working for other organisations, the constabulary is responsible for recruiting and training all reservists.

He stressed that the betel nut ban should not be part of police duty and that the city rangers are responsible to enforce regulations surrounding the ban.

Despite the directive, senior police officers said according to the Police Act, they will only carry out this order when a proper police gazette is issued to them.

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