With so much public criticisms directed against poor performances by the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary in recent times, the government must now direct the police hierarchy to implement key recommendations of a so-called police review done over some two years ago.
There appears to be no progress reports to date whether the police is in fact implementing what this review recommends among other things to drastically improve the constabulary’s overall operational performance
It is not clear what the PNG government expects of its police force other than do its traditional job of enforcing the ‘rule of law’.
It is time the government focus all its efforts to developing a professional police institution distinct from the defence force or military and be responsible for internal security.
In future, PNG must create a more dispersed, visible, accessible and service-orientated police force which will frequently interact and gently with the community; and society.
The new-look future police force‘s primary duty will be to protect citizens and property.
The government must aim to totally professionalise the whole police institution.
We must plan now to make our future police force to be:
·More effective and integrate efforts to de-politicise the police
·Strengthen it capacity ‘to enforce the law’
·Maintain public order with the minimum of physical force
·Made more accountable and law abiding, humane and closely integrated into our civil community
·Make it more politically autonomous and responsive to community needs
·Develop leadership, organisation, training systems, transportation and communications systems and appropriate equipment
·Improve its capability to conduct urban, rural, border patrol operations (with the defence force if need be), investigations of varying degree of complexity and sophistication
·Make it more politically-autonomous and responsive to community needs
·Professionally managed from the top down, is adequately trained, equipped and rewarded; and
·Other specialised functions.
This is not hard to do if we can better organise future police reforms by fully using domestic resources and further complement these initiatives through required international support in certain specialised and technical areas of police science.
An obvious resource area that the government has overlooked for many years that we should have already fully tapped into a long time ago is to fully engage former government, military and police members as well as current members of the constabulary and the community.