8 May 2013

PNG police minister revises staff targets

6:48 am on 8 May 2013

The minister of police in Papua New Guinea, Nixon Duban, says the government aims to add 2,000 police officers on top of the current 5,000 by 2015.

Last year, Mr Duban promised to double the size of the force by that date as part of a commitment to addressing law and order issues.

He admits the growing tension surrounding the LNG project in Hela province could require police involvement and says if there is a need for additional deployments he will act.

He says with a population of about seven million the current ratio is about one police officer to 1,600 people - the UN has asked PNG to reach a target of 1 to 450.

"That can be achieved if we have recruitments in thousands, we need to open up a couple more training academies for the police and that is a priority at the moment. We are targetting to have at least two thousand more on top of the current 5,000 so by 2015 hopefully we'll go up to 7,000."

Nixon Duban says the government is working on problems that have accumulated over the last few governments who paid little attention to boosting police numbers.