10 Dec 2003

Australian academic says aid to PNG police uneffective

11:17 am on 10 December 2003

An Australian academic says there is little to show for years of substantial Australian aid to Papua New Guinea police and this is why Canberra plans to send hundreds of police to PNG.

Australia and PNG are expected to announce a plan on Thursday to send in up to 300 police to augment the struggling PNG force, along with a planned revamp of the government bureaucracy.

Dr Sinclair Dinnen, an expert in law and security in Melanesian countries from the Australian National University, says AusAID's Police Development Project has run for nearly 13 years but there is little to show for it.

"There are very good grounds to move away from the old model of putting in advisors into a much more integrated approach whereby police officers from outside are being put to work Papua New Guinean counterparts."

Dr Dinnen also says the challenges the Australian police officers will face are enormous.

He says this includes the prevalence of high powered firearms and tribal conflicts, which Australian police are not as familiar with.