7 Aug 2003

Immobilised PNG police told no additional money for fuel and vehicles

5:06 pm on 7 August 2003

Police Headquarters in Papua New Guinea have warned provincial commanders that there is no money available to address shortages of vehicles and fuel.

Police spokeswoman, Elizabeth Solomon, says the economic situation in PNG has affected all government departments and the police are no exception.

Ms Solomon's comments come after East New Britain police said they had effectively been immobilised by shortages and some communities were cut off from their help.

Business Houses in the Highlands provinces have also complained about the lack of police resources and the resulting upsurge in crime.

However Ms Solomon says provincial police should be able to improvise and work with what little resources they have.

She says she has already heard of some stations taking the intiaitive to save money.

"Policemen have gone back into the foot beat patrols that they start walking around in the streets and trying to be involved in the community and just to be seen as a police presence in the community instead of traveling in vehicles"

Elizabeth Solomon.

Meanwhile the Defence Minister, Kappa Yarka, has been quoted in the National newspaper saying if needed the army should be called in to wipe out criminal elements in the Enga and Highlands region.