27 Feb 2013

PNG's Oro authorities seek to curb local crime

5:42 pm on 27 February 2013

The government in Papua New Guinea's Oro Province is putting in place measures to try to help youths involved in a wave of criminality to turn their lives around.

The small northern province was last year beset with lawlessness, much of it blamed on marijuana cultivation and the production of illicit alcohol.

But the provincial administrator, Owen Awaita, says a four-month operation late last year by a squad of mobile police, which left 12 youths dead, has brought stability.

He says to maintain the peace they plan to put in closed circuit television around the capital, Popondetta, and have schemes to try and rehabilitate the disaffected youth.

"One of our local members [ of parliament] has put in 6 million kina [about two point 7 million US dollars], paid into a number of institutions in the country and asked those institutions to take in those youths to try and give them opportunity to see what they can do towards rehabilitating them. Also we have discussed with agriculture institutions in the province to take on some of those youths, who cannot continue schooling, but at least they can get exposed to better skills of agriculture."