7 Jun 2004

PNG Opposition says the country's soldiers could serve a domestic policing role

3:48 pm on 7 June 2004

The Papua New Guinea opposition leader says soldiers should be swung into the fight against crime and be seconded into the police force.

Peter O'Neil told the Post Courier there are some 3000 men under arms who are basically doing nothing at present in the PNG Defence Force.

Mr O'Neil says the alternate government will push for soldiers to be seconded for constabulary duties and the remainder would be engaged with the engineering battalion in civic duties which is the second pillar of the Opposition's top priorities.'

He says he would review the terms and conditions of police and push to get more police recruited.

Mr O'Neil says the ratio of one police officer for every 1300 people needs to be improved.