By Rachael Shisei – EM TV News, Madang
Housing is a major problem for the Madang Police, who are currently outnumbered by the Madang population at the ratio of 1 is to 3,000. They are, however, expected to contain the crime rate in the province.
A general trend is for the general public to point fingers at the police for the increasing crime rate, but most have no idea how the days for these men in blue start and end.
The Madang police housing problem is so chronic, that some of them are sleeping in their offices, while others make do with whoever can accommodate them.
An example is Constable Serry Ati, who works at the Madang town police station by day, and uses his office to sleep by night. It’s been years.
“I am a public servant, how is it that I’m like this? I don’t have a place to cook and eat, no water no shower, and I have to pay someone else to cook for me, or just buy from the kaibars and that’s a very expensive exercise,” said the Public Safety Officer, Constable Ati.
Also in the same building is where another officer, a public prosecutor has been living.
It is understood that some of them have been evicted from their homes due to nonpayment of rental fees.
Madang Governor, Jim Kas, in an interview said that it is up to the Police Department to commit itself to address this problem.
“I’m appealing to the Police Department to resource some confidence back to Madang Province by revisiting the agreements review the funding and come to Madang the land is here now,” Kas said.
Ground-breaking ceremonies have taken place at locations said to be for police barracks, but nothing has been done since, and the bush has grown back.
“On one hand the government talks about looking for land and we Provincial Governments as an entity do our best and corporate with them to make land available, so they should likewise compliment it by securing funding,” said Governor Kas.
While the buck is being passed around, the problem gets worse.
The province is still without a Provincial Police Commander, and not even someone acting in that position.