By Mickey Kavera – EMTV, Port Moresby
New recruits to the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary (RPNGC) have been advised to uphold the traditions of the force, and return confidence to the people whose safety they are charged with protecting.
Minister for Police, Robert Atiyafa, was frank in his remarks, stating that the police force has lost the respect, trust and confidence of the people.
He told new recruits from the Bomana Police College that they owe it to the people to restore the good image of the force.
“Bring the people closer to police force, don’t make them fear the police,” he said.
Atiyafa encouraged the recruits to diligently carry out their mandated duties to the people and the state.
He said the national government is committed to alleviating some of the problems faced by the constabulary.
Among them is the housing project for 6,000 members of the force, an investment by the government of K2 billion aimed at rehabilitating the police force.
He also raised concerns on the number of police personnel, citing that the RPNGC still has a long way to go in meeting its targets before the 2018 APEC Summit.
By this years end it is expected to have 8,000 personnel, and 10,000 in total by 2018.
Atiyafa urged the constabulary to look at ways in achieving these targets.
He has also commended the Australian Federal Police for its continued support towards the RPNGC.