By Bethanie Harriman – EM TV, Lae
Lae residents have given credit to the police for ensuring a safe New Year night.
It comes after Lae police carried out raids in trouble areas of the city to clamp down on hot spots known for homebrew and marijuana problems.
Lae is known for its high crime rate, and leading into major events on the calendar, more attention is drawn to its violent past that was fuelled by home brew and marijuana consumption. However, Lae residents feel last night showed improvement.
Leila Minji, who has has lived most of her life in Lae, says this New Year was peaceful. “It was more peaceful compared to last year,” says Minji, accompanied by her mother and younger brother.
She isn’t alone; others also agreed with her and attributed to police operations.
Much of Lae’s peacefulness comes from well-planned and executed police operations around the city’s hot spots by members of the Lae Mobile Squad.
Today, the industrial hub still rests after last night. The Eriku bus stop, usually the busiest in Lae City, is slow today. Lae’s main market area, the agricultural centre for the rural parts of Morobe and the highlands, was completely empty.
Major shopping centres in Eriku and town were visited by few people seeking suppliers for the remainder of the holidays. For some residents however, the party hasn’t stopped, and may take several more nights and a few more drinks to say good-bye to 2014.
Lae, like every other major town and city of Papua New Guinea, will go into the 2015 with bigger expectations. More money has been allocated to Lae, but the rural areas of Morobe still aren’t being developed as fast as they should be.