By Patricia Keamo – EMTV News Cadet Journalist
With the increase in the rate of crime and violence within the Nation’s Capital and Central Province, the Royal PNG Constabulary opened a new Family and Sexual Violence Unit at Waigani Police Station, today.
Members of the Royal PNG Constabulary and the Australian Federal Police with the surrounding community in Waigani witnessed the official opening of the new FSVU building.
For the past couple of years, the Family and Sexual Violence unit in Waigani Police Station has been using a small space with the station to address cases of family and sexual violence.
Today was a milestone achievement for them to witness the opening of their new FSVU building.
The FSVU building cost about K900, 000 funded by the PNG-Australia Partnership with the Royal PNG Constabulary.
Currently, there are 106 officers working in the Family & Sexual Violence Units nationwide.
Law and Justice Counsellor of the Australian High Commission, Gina Wilson said between 2013 and 2016, the number of cases reported throughout the country increased to fourteen thousand.
She said about 20 to 25 women come to the FSV units daily to make statements.
As the population of the country expands, the rate for crime and violence is also increasing, thus creating the demand and need for units like FSV across the country to address these issues.
Deputy Police Commissioner, Jim Andrews said so far, there are 18 Family & Sexual Violence Units in provinces around the country.
Within NCD and Central Province, there are over two thousand cases of family and sexual violence.
From that, 195 arrests have been made and 203 cases were referred to counseling.
The opening of the FSVU falls on the Universal Human Rights Day, which today marks the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The Family & Sexual Violence Unit will respond to cases in the local area, such as Waigani and Gerehu and refer them to partner agencies and safe houses.