by Theckla Gunga – EM TV News, Port Moresby
The shortage of police officers and policing resources in rural areas has restricted the force from performing their duties effectively.
Police personnel stationed in Central Province say it becomes difficult when they are responding to matters occurring around the same time, in different LLG areas.
For police officers stationed along the Hiritano Highway, policing their areas of command is an exhausting job.
Protocols prevented EMTV from filming the police stations or getting an on camera interview with the Police Station Commander in Doa.
However, it is understood that in this part of the Province, home brew and drug smuggling is common, and police get daily reports of unregistered vehicles using the highway to transport betelnut into Port Moresby.
Almost all police stations in rural areas are under resourced in terms of both manpower and vehicles.
In Doa, the station has less than five regular police officers who are expected to police a massive area.
This includes the Laloki area to Bereina and even to Tapini in the Goilala District.
The current police manpower in Papua New Guinea is 6,000. Earlier this year the government, under the Police Modernisation Program, looked into increasing numbers to 1,000,000 by 2018.
While the number of new police recruits entering the Bomana Police Training College has increased this year, rural police stations like Doa and Laloki remain under-staffed due to no accommodation.
For Doa police station, an additional five officers will join as juniors bringing the total to nine regular police officers.