The West New Britain Police will no longer be arresting suspects and detaining them at the Police cell.
This follows a recent health inspection that condemned the Sarakolok Police Station cell, the only Police lockup in the province, unfit to use.
West New Britain Provincial Police Commander, Superintendent Jim Namora, says the provincial health inspectors had given the police a 28-day ultimatum to refurbish the lockup facilities or face legal actions.
Part of the Condemnation notice reads “You (PPC) are required to carry out work (repair/maintenance) at the holding cell block within 28 days. Non compliance within the time frame as specified will resort in this authority taking legal action against your department”.
The deadline will end on Tuesday 7th March of this year.
PPC Namora says for now, he has ordered his men to refrain from arresting lawbreakers until the problem is fixed.
The Sarakolok Cell block is the only cellblock in operation after the main Kimbe Police Station cell facilities was also condemned previously.
“I am happy the Provincial Health Authority has condemn this facility due to unhygienic conditions. The state and other stakeholders need to step up to meet these challenges, particularly on new infrastructure,” Superintendent Namora says.
He says many communities may feel the adverse effects as the lawbreakers are conveniently sent back into their own communities without being isolated.
“This is very bad and at the same time a rather sad situation for people of West New Britain province. But it is something me and my officers cannot help,” Namora said.
Superintendent Namora says only the suspects involved in serious crimes will be detained but may be allowed out on bail.
“Communities must now take ownership in dealing with social and law and order issues amicably at their own level until the situation for both the Kimbe and Sarakolok cell blocks are rectified,” the PPC said.