An increase in the number of cases being struck out at committal courts, due to a lack of evidence, has seen the creation of an investigative interviewing workshop in order to address the issue.
26 police officers in the Gulf Provincial Command, including four civilians, were apart of the workshop, as an approach to reduce the number of cases that are struck out.
This is because of technical issues that arise during the investigation stage of a criminal matter.
It was conducted by trainers from the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary, with assistance from the Australian Federal Police.
The four civilians include three officers from the National Fisheries Authority (NFA) and the Deputy Head Teacher of Kerema Secondary School.
From the 26 police officers, three were females.
Every court case costs approximately between K4,000-K20,000, depending on the seriousness of the case.
And thus, if a case is struck out on technical grounds, it will cost the government more money to have the case heard again.
The week-long workshop is designed to enhance investigative officer’s understanding on how to pick up vital information from witness statements.
It also helps officers manage investigations.
Dotty Ibana is one of the three NFA officers who received a completion certificate at the conclusion of the workshop.
Ibana will be using the investigative interviewing skills he learnt when speaking to witnesses in illegal fishing cases.
The training of commissioned police personnel is lacking in many rural commands.
As a result, many officers forget the importance of simple police duties, like collecting records of interviews or preparing court files.
Gulf Provincial Commander, Silas Wayagure, says he will be expecting an increase in the number of convictions in the province.