Vaki: Police Lack Command and Control

By Vasinatta Yama – EM TV, Port Moresby

Papua New Guinea’s Police Commissioner, Geoffrey Vaki, has directed all police personnel in the country to undergo refresher courses.

In a press conference today, he said the constabulary lacks command and control, and this is leading to the ill-disciplined behavior of the police.

All regular police men and women will undergo the refresher course, to get more training on ‘behaviour change’ and ‘rules of engagement’ on the use of weapons.

He said this after the recent reports of police brutality on civilians.

Mr Vaki blamed this ‘fall down’ as a result of lack in command, control, and strict supervision by commanding officers.

With the public’s outcry of police brutality and the use of firearms, Commissioner Vaki clarified that the use of arms is very specific.

Police personnel are taught and trained on its procedures on weapon handling; when, where, how, and who to shoot and what circumstances they are allowed to open fire or shoot the target.

He stated that no regular police men and women are allowed to shoot, unless they get commands from their commanders or team leader.

Meanwhile, the only weapons police are allowed to carry around and use are the Gas gun, M16 A2, and pistols.

However, he said “the best weapon for them to use is their God given mouth and hands.”

He added that reservists’ (police) are not allowed to use guns or to even carry guns around.

Shockingly, he said due to lack of man power, police presence is absent to prevent criminal activities.

The UN recommends a police/ population ratio of 1:450 or minimum police strength of 222 per 100,000 people, however in Papua New Guinea; the police to population ratio is 1:1000.

The Commissioner is determined to clean up the police force and take police personnel ‘back-to-basics’ to reinstill discipline, control and enforce

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