Highlands Police Slammed For Gun Smuggling, Political Bias In PNG

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Local commander urges officers to follow laws, act impartially

By Yvonne Haip

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, June 5, 2012) – A Papua New Guinea police officer in the highlands reportedly smuggled firearm magazines and ammunitions into the region.

Another smashed a candidate’s poster displayed at a location within his electorate, while some police members supported a candidate and attacked a sitting member of parliament.

These were revealed by highlands divisional commander Chief Supt. Teddy Tei who condemned the acts.

He said they were a total breach of laws and it is disheartening, particularly when police were instructed to remain transparent and impartial during the election period.

He said officers implicated in these would be ‘firmly dealt with" and dismissed from the constabulary as "they are a liability to the police service rather than being assets."

Tei has also directed all provincial commanders, field commanders and joint forces commanders to be "very observant" of such police officers, and permitted them to "manhandle" these police officers before referring them to him.

He described the officers as "would-be renegades" who were "running around associating with politicians under the cover of their uniforms and committing nuisances."

He said they would not be tolerated under his command as police officers had to enforce the law justly, without fear, favor, malice or ill-will.

"A police officer is expected to perform duties with integrity and honesty and must at all times make every effort to respect the rights of all people in the community regardless of color, social status or religion," he said.

"Our job is to be impartial and transparent in the discharge of our duties by merely providing the security and nothing more."

He warned police in the region to refrain from engaging in such acts as police were out to ensure that the elections were free, fair and peaceful.

Tei said the people were keeping their eyes on police who were being assisted by the soldiers and Correctional Services officers to provide adequate security during the elections.

He said the police force could not afford to lose the people’s trust.

He urged the public to report rogue members of the constabulary who were degrading the status of the police force.

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