11 Nov 2003

PNG women's organisation says removing squatters from capital no answer to crime problems

12:02 pm on 11 November 2003

Papua New Guinea's National Council of Women says dismantling squatter settlements in Papua New Guinea's capital is an expensive and impractical solution to law and order problems.

The country's police commissioner, Sam Inguba, says he wants all settlements in Port Moresby removed, forcing squatters to return to their villages.

He says the settlements are a breeding ground for the unemployed, who rely on crime to survive.

But the Council's acting president, Nahau Rooney, says that's an over reaction, and the Government should work closely with the urban councils to develop a more realistic approach.

"Because not everybody in the squatter's settlement is a troublemaker, there are people that have important jobs or a re working in either the government or the private sector."

Mr Inguba has told the National Newspaper he was shocked by the latest violence which has resulted in seven people being charged with murder, abduction, rape and arson.

He says horrific crimes will continue as long as settlements exist and the government must introduce the Vagrancy Act.