by Edwin Fidelis – EM TV News, Kokopo
The East New Britain police have begun talks with its provincial government to establish a police patrol base along the New Britain Highway.
Two new police base will be set up within the East New Britain territory to monitor the movement of people along the New Britain Highway.
This follows concerns raised by police over an anticipated increase in the level of crime once the New Britain Highway opens up.
While the New Britain Highway is seen as a development pathway, the East New Britain police are cautious on the level of security risks that the highway will bring.
The number of people coming into the province is expected to increase significantly.
The East New Britain police boss, Superintendent Anthony Wagambie Junior, says they now have three points of entry to deal with: the Rabaul wharf; Tokua Airport and now the New Britain highway.
Over the last 12 months, the East New Britain police have been working on strategic plans to monitor the movement of people coming into East New Britain province.
The growing number of illegal settlements and an increase in criminal activities has prompted the police to establish tougher measures.
First, the rural police station at Open Bay and Vunapalading in the inland Baining LLG will be upgraded to a police highway patrol base.
Its rundown staff houses will be upgraded.
And, more armed police personnel will be stationed here.
The East New Britain provincial government has already made a commitment of K1.5 million to support the establishment of its rural-based task force team.
Over the last six months, East New Britain has experienced a noticeable increase in the number of crime in the province.
The police say in order to contain criminal activities; the migration of squatters into East New Britain from other provinces must be monitored.