5 Oct 2004

Australian police to buy local cars for PNG work

2:32 pm on 5 October 2004

Australian police in Papua New Guinea are preparing for the arrival of the first batch of armed officers under the recently-begun assistance mission to the country.

A second group of six unarmed police officers is starting work in Arawa in Bougainville today.

Police are this week setting up offices in Port Moresby under the so-called Enhanced Co-operation programme.

Armed officers are due to start street patrols in the capital at the end of next month.

The Australian Federal Police spokesman in PNG, Greg Keeley, says the force is buying vehicles locally.

"to ensure that money stays in the economy. We expect our vehicles to begin arriving any day. Some are being sourced from Australia, where there's been specialist requirements, but the remainder are indeed coming out of Papua New Guinea."

The first police arrived in Papua New Guinea at the end of August and eight unarmed officers were deployed to the Bougainville centre of Buka, a week afterwards.

A total of 230 police will be deployed as part of the ECP.