by Bridgette Komatep – EM TV, Port Moresby
Southern Highlands Provincial Police Commander Sibron Papoto has praised the police department’s modernisation program.
Superintendent Papoto says through the program, police have managed to increase manpower and resources.
However, the challenge they face this year is housing for police officers, which would enable them to fully enforce the liquor ban in the province. Through the modernisation program, Southern Highlands province has 291 police personnel.
With full backing from the Southern Highlands provincial government, police have had vehicles, uniform and firearms to aid regular highway patrols. Last week, the Kutubu local level government (LLG) donated a vehicle to compliment the work of highway patrol 19, based at Moro.
Imposing the liquor ban in 2010 controlled the number of alcohol-related problems; however, PPC Sibron says this had an adverse effect. There were an increased number of black markets. People resorted to smuggling alcohol along the border of the Southern and Western Highlands provinces.
Amidst their policing is the need to build more police houses. Members of the disciplined force continue to reside in rundown houses. Police Minister Robert Atiyafa, in a recent interview, made a ministerial commitment to ensure more houses are constructed for police personnel throughout the country.
He said the government can either stop the police training and build more police houses or continue the training and build more police houses. He said the government was committed to ensuring more police houses are constructed throughout the country.