PNG police officers suspended after deadly settlement clash

3:52 pm on 7 October 2019

Papua New Guinea's police chief has ordered the suspension of officers involved in a deadly clash at a Port Moresby settlement just over a week ago.

Papua New Guinea police commissioner David Manning

Acting police commissioner, David Manning. Photo: Supplied

Two people were killed and several injured during a confrontation after police went to Erima settlement to investigate the illegal sale of alcohol.

The raid-turned-violent is now the subject of a homicide investigation by police.

Acting police commissioner David Manning said his biggest concern was the conduct of officers at the scene when the shooting deaths occurred.

Heavy-handed tactics by police must cease if the constabulary was to eradicate mistrust and resentment in the public, he said.

Mr Manning said the constabulary would focus more on training for police to ensure ethical operations and discipline when dealing with hostile situations.

"We need to mend this gap through restoration of trust, confidence and understanding both ways in order for all of us to make our society more safer and conducive for residents to live in and for business activities to operate and thrive in peace and harmony," Mr Manning said.

Detectives investigating the aftermath of the Erima clash were instructed to cover all aspects of the allegations leading up to and after the incidents.

Suspending those involved was normal procedure in any administrative or criminal investigation, he said.

"This is a homicide investigation but we will have to also investigate the issue of illegal liquor sales. We will arrest and charge the suspects involved in the illegal sale of alcohol as well."

Detectives assigned to these cases would also interview the settlers to identify and arrest the suspects involved in the attack on police personnel, damages caused to police vehicles as well as those of the commuting public.

"The success of these investigations will depend on the community's willingness to assist the police to unveil all the wrong doings perpetrated by everyone involved, including members of the public and the police."