Thursday, January 21, 2010

What about a Papua New Guinea Neighbouhood Watch Program?

From PAUL OATES in Queensland, Australia

In the Post Courier today was a good example of public spirited self help. Local police were complimented on the effect their public patrolling of Lae City was having on reducing urban crime. The writer however still had to band together with others and defend a young person against thugs who were trying to rob her. So by putting your own life on the line is still the only way to stop urban crime ? At the moment, the answer might appear to be 'Yes!'. Is there is a better way however?

Creating a Neighbourhood Watch program or an organised arrangement between the public and police needs to be investigated. Those members of the public that are cleared by police can then go about helping their community reduce personal assaults and petty crime. By standing up for public decency and reporting criminals to police without necessarily having to physically defend yourself and others is an effective way of assisting police. Effectively organised, 'People Power' can work wonders.

As an example, might each busy PMV had at least two police appointed Neighbourhood Watch members with mobile phones ready to report any lawbreakers? If each suburb and settlement had a Neighbourhood Watch program that were the eyes and ears of the police, this 'intelligence' could well turn the corner on urban crime. Identification of personal items and making law abiding citizens aware of how they can assist with their own security are very important. Reports of 'modus opperandi' or details of recent crime and local criminal behaviour also helps people become more aware of how they can help themselves. Reducing opportunities for crimes to be committed has a very positive overall effect in reducing crime.

Is there an effective police 'dob in' facility for anonymous reporting? This would help those who don't want to reveal to their wantoks who reported a crime or criminal behaviour. While the mischievous will always try to use the system to their own advantage, the overall benefits of a Neighbourhood Watch scheme in PNG cities might well be worthwhile.

The RPNGC could help themselves as well as the public by becoming more proactive rather than just reactive.

Thursday 21st January, 2010

Let's work with police to fight crime

I would like to comment on the police officers patrolling the main streets in Lae City.
It's almost a month and we have witnessed a drop in bag snatching, public harassment and pocket-picking by street thugs. Police presence in the city has made a lot of difference.
However, in the early hours between 6 and 8am street thugs are preying on young girls and the elderly, harassing and robbing people going to work as if they own the streets. Yesterday my friends and I were able to rescue a young lady who was being harassed and robbed around 7am on her way to work. My friends and I put our lives on the line and put up a fight with these thugs, more than 10 of them. One of my friends lost his shopping bag in the confrontation.
We were attacked with iron rods and outnumbered, fortunately no one was hurt. Police, consider street patrolling between 6am and 7am and clean out these opportunists. As a law abiding Papua New Guinean, I will speak against immorality, public harassment and robbing of our women folk by street thugs. It's risky to physically confront street thugs. If we the innocent public and the law enforcing body do not step up, someone we know will become a victim to street thugs.
If good, law-abiding citizens are not saying or doing anything to attack immorality around us, evil and lawlessness will increase.
Let's work together with community policing to make our city and country safe for everyone.

W Hera

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