Equip, train and appreciate the Royal PNG Constabulary to reduce crime
By Deborah R. Telek (Sharp Talk)
The Royal PNG Constabulary needs more support from the government of the day. A well trained, well organised and adequately equipped and compensated force will bring stability to our country. Any government, which wants to see change in the country without paying any attention to the size and requirements of our boys and girls in blue, doesn't know what the root cause of all our problems is crime. Crime is at all levels of society and is challenging a force which doesn't have the capacity to deal with it.
Upcoming candidates for 2012, this is your task if you want to see: (a) peace (b) law and order (c) increase in tourist numbers (d) business thriving (e) increase in investment (f) fizzle out and fading of corruption (g) prosecution of white collar crime (h) development expansion (i) care for infrastructure and its maintenance (j) drop in compensation demands against the state and (k) more tax inflows as state revenue then do the following:
- Review police terms and conditions and increase their base salary;
- Simultaneously increase recruitment – not just for the elections. Increase the police officer to citizens’ ratio;
- Plan for and provide adequate post-traumatic stress counselling for officers in active field duty;
- Maintain a basic training regime and continuous improvement program for all. Provide the opportunity for those high achievers to enter various specialised units;
- Train new recruits alongside army recruits for a month so they develop an appreciation for the army and vice versa;
- Develop bravery and other such awards and cover ceremonies bestowing such at the highest level possible so that outstanding and brave officers are recognised by the country;
- Provide adequate crime fighting equipment for the force - batons, shields, Tasers, pepper spray, alongside a national WAN for the force or a cloud computing equivalent, database development for finger prints, criminal profiles, evidence collecting kits and labs to analyse and secure storage for evidence etc.;
- Skills assessment for currently serving officers and upgrade existing knowledge and skills to suit crime fighting in the 21st century;
- Orientation program for officers who rotate to a new community so that they visit schools, community halls and meeting places, villages and local businesses. They need to know the people they protect. A lot of crime fighting involves an element of counselling so that potential perpetrators never go down that path.
If you are standing for election and you promise development without knowing what you are going to do to cut crime. Or you want to leave it to whoever the government is – you are a goose! Have a plan, have a plan, and ALWAYS have a plan.
You want your health workers to stay safe while attending to patients at midnight in remote locations? Plan for the police. You want to attract tourists to our shores? Plan for the police. You want to catch and prosecute corrupt government officials? Plan for the police.
- Editors Note: Some of the issues highlighted by Deborah R. Telek were part of the recommendations in the 2004 Bire Kimisopa Administrative Review into the PNG Royal Constabulary.