4 Nov 2003

PNG Police Minister unhappy with low morale of police officers

11:51 am on 4 November 2003

Papua New Guinea's Police Minister says the country's police force will remain corrupt unless the Government addresses the poor morale amongst staff.

Bire Kimisopa says the police force cannot perform while officers are grossly underpaid and up against budget cuts and a recession.

"The PNG police force is sick. I used to use this analogy - the PNG police force has malaria and it's getting Disprin. What we are saying is we need Chloroquin. The only way we can do that is to address the key problems, otherwise we will have issues if discipline, corruption, institutional suppresion with cases against the police. Problems in the police are nor properly dealt with - police brutality, nepotism, negligence, a whole range of issues."

Mr Kimisopa says political instability has also played a major part in the demise of the police force.

He says that while police welfare is a key issue he would like to see more focus on crime prevention in the provinces, in collaboration with provincial governors.

He says he hopes provincial governments will help fund police operations in the future.