by Sylvester Gawi – EM TV, Lae
In the last 6 months, the EM TV Lae Bureau has been reporting several instances of petty crime in Lae.
Many people were victimised, their bags and bilums snatched and some were left suffering with knife wounds.
The latest was the death of a 17-year-old boy on Boundary Road last week. Boundary Road in Lae City has been the hot spot for petty crimes over the last twelve months.
Bag-snatching and hold ups have been frequent at Maiba bus stop, Taun Street and the road leading to One Mile. People have been attacked with knives, screwdrivers and homemade guns, with their mobile phones, shopping bags and bilums taken.
Even school children were held up, with their lunch money taken.
On Thursday, a 17-year-old boy was attacked and stabbed by youths from the Sialum Compound in broad daylight.
His death has sparked widespread concerns from residents regarding public safety. The residents want authorities to build a police station and increase police presence in the area to contain law and order problems.
In previous interviews, many have called for actions.
With Lae City experiencing significant growth in business, the number of people coming into the city has also increased overtime.
Petty crimes have also become a threat for residents. Many have found it difficult to move around freely as this crime happens every day at any time.
While many people have called for the removal of illegal settlements and the implementation of the vagrancy act, little has been done to address Lae’s law and order problems.
The police need more backing from the government in terms of logistics and increased manpower to effectively do their work.