By Julie Badui Owa – EMTV News, Lae
The Police Minister of the new Marape-Davis Government, Bryan Kramer, told EMTV News in Lae on Thursday, June 14, that the first issue that he will focus on is corruption in the police force. The Minister said money that was supposed to be given to policing has been stolen and misused. The money would be enough to build homes for every officers of the police force.
Meanwhile, seven duplexes at the Bumbu Police Barracks in Lae that were constructed in 2012, is still incomplete and unoccupied, costing about K2.5million. The houses were supposed to be completed in the middle of 2014. However, almost seven years and they remain incomplete and unoccupied.
For the past seven years, the issue was raised to the Police Commissioner, Lae MP, Morobe Governor, Police Minister and the Prime Minister, but not much was done to fast track the completion of these houses.
On Thursday this week during the visit of the Marape-Davis Government to Lae, to commemorate the 52nd Anniversary of Pangu Party, Police Minister, Bryan Kramer said, “Around K2-3 billion is estimated to be stolen every year in Papua New Guinea, through corruption.”
“And that is more sufficient funds to build accommodation for every single officer. So that’s the number one issue that I’m going to go after is corruption. Corruption is the number one cause of money that’s supposed to be given to policing that is being stolen and misused.”
Yesterday, Prime Minister, James Marape, told EMTV News that the Government aims to re-look into the issues of policing across the country and will make the outstanding concerns of the constabulary a priority.
“We will check if money has been fully remitted to the contractors, we’ll check what has happened to it. Police is one key sector, without a safe environment, everything else is of no use so definitely police will receive greater support that’s why I put a new Police Minister into police sector to make the sector a little bit different to what it was in the past.”
During the visit of the Marape-Davis Government to Lae on Thursday, the Police Minister, Bryan Kramer, said he will make sure that the PNG Constabulary is disciplined and fully resourced.
Kramer said beginning next month, he will be visiting each member of the force with their families at their homes in the barracks or at settlements across the country to get a better insight of the challenges they face.
The Police Minister said his focus would be moving the force and discipline. Kramer said he would recommend or seek sacking of police officers involved in any major disciplinary issues by filing criminal or civil proceedings against them.
“I intend to change the culture of the Force, to stop focusing following Members of the Parliament around, stop following private businesses around, that’s not their job. So we’re talking with the Commissioner and devising a policy with NEC that, your job, the member of the Force, is to protect the public. The public pay their payroll and not MPs.”