By Martha Louis – EMTV News, Lae
Police manpower in the nine districts of Morobe province is still not enough to tackle the province’s high crime rate.
Provincial Police Commander Chief Superintendent, Augustine Wampe, says apart from Bulolo and Lae, most of the other districts have one or two police officers.
Wampe says his command is unable to send more officers, as there are no houses in each of the districts to accommodate them.
Outside of the Metropolitant Command, the Morobe Provincial Police Command has 127 officers policing a population of more than 500,000.
The districts of Kabwum, Menyamya, Tewai/Siassi, Huon Gulf, Markham, Finschhafen and Naweab have either one or two police officers on the ground.
While Bulolo district has 20 officers and Lae district has more than 200 police personnel.
Chief Superintendent, Augustine Wampe, says his command is not able to send in police personnel due to housing problems.
They need more police houses in the districts before they can send in officers. At this time, they can only send in policemen to assist police officers on the ground.
Wampe says crime is an everyday occurrence, but when it comes to policing, they need to get more men on the ground to address the issue.
They also need to do more awareness in the communities to reduce the crime rate in those areas.
Right now, all they can do is react to situations.
Wampe is appealing to local MPs in each of the districts to assist the provincial police command in building more houses, as well as providing logistical support.
And while the police in Lae wait for more police housing in the districts, the consequences of having little to no police presence continue to multiply.
Fewer boots on the ground, they believe, is resulting in the increasing number of crimes being committed every week.