By Vasinatta Yama – EMTV News, Mt Hagen
Four vehicles from the Mt Hagen Police Public Safety Division have been grounded for almost a month, due to no servicing. Western Highlands Provincial Police Commander, Jacob Kamiak, said their budget has been affected for almost a year, due to the current financial constraints the country is going through.
Police in this division have also raised concerns, that their safety is at risk, when traveling on a Public Motor Vehicle in their work uniform. They have been hitching rides, to attend to issues for nearly a month, with their vehicles grounded because they have not been serviced for over two years.
PPC Kamiak said petty crime activities are increasing in Mt Hagen City, and with the limited resources available; police are trying their best to attend to all the cases reported. While mobile squads and task force units are carrying out their routines of conducting foot beat patrols in the City, Police are still short on manpower.
Western Highlands Province’s population has grown to at least 300,000 people in the 2011 census. This means that 1 police officer will look after 1, 700 people, quadrupling the International ratio of 1 to 400 people.
“We can’t make miracles. But with the limited resources we have, we are utilizing it,” PPC Kamiak said. “I commend all of my policemen and women, for responding to any situation in the city, and we contain the situations, even in the outskirts.”
Despite that, major crimes in the province have declined in the last three years, with only sexual violence cases increasing. PPC Kamiak said people are also ignorant of reporting cases to police to attend to. He appealed to business houses and the public to partner with the police to reduce preventable crimes in the city.