23 Dec 2010

PNG Police public relations and awareness programs help bring in unlicensed guns

4:37 pm on 23 December 2010

The Papua New Guinea police force has credited a renewed focus on community policing for the surrendering of illegal firearms in Western Province

A section of the Police Mobile Squad carried out an operation along the Ok Tedi River last week which resulted in the surrender of 19 rifles and a quantity of ammunition.

The police spokesman, Superintendent Dominic Kakas, says the surrender was not achieved through police raids but by public relations exercises by the mobile squad:

"Basically they were engaged by the OK Tedi Mining to provide security and they've actually been conducting awareness programmes along the villages there and they covered issues on alcohol abuse, home-brewing and also firearms. I guess that must have convinced the people and they actually voluntarily came up with the firearms."

Dominic Kakas says the retrieval of unlicensed guns is a major focus for police as illegal firearms are still widespread in PNG.