Royal PNG Constabulary Challenged to implement 2004 Police Report


I read with dismay the numerous and disproportionate complaints in the print media about police inaction and inability to perform fully its constitutional obligations. I concur that performance and effectiveness of our police service have dropped over the years and will continue to spiral downwards if immediate intervention and action is not taken.

Insufficient resources seem to be cause of non performance but I disagree with this reasoning. Hefty funding alone cannot solve the woes facing the organization. Security has not been guaranteed in this country despite the hundreds of millions of kina spent on the police service over the years.

The RPNGC can solve its own problems without external intervention and additional funding. The police force has been on a path of self-destruction over the years but officers and men within are oblivious to the cancers eroding the fabrics of the organization. They are tight-lipped because they either fear the inevitable consequences and repercussions that could emanate from expostulation of the mismanagement in the organization or they benefit directly and/or indirectly from some of the unscrupulous deals. Some of the very senior officers can be blamed for complicity in the deteriorating condition of the organization.

Biased promotions, re-enlistment of officers with shady characters, unfair selection of candidates for courses and attachments, direct intervention into disciplinary matters, collusion with officers in the accounts section to siphon funds, diversion of funds for unbudgeted expenditures, rampant cronyism and nepotism, partial award and renewal of contracts, flagrant bypass of processes and procedures, engagement in private businesses whilst being employed as public servants contravening the Public Service General Orders, engagement of police officers as security guards, double-dipping and the inability to take prompt disciplinary actions are some of the impediments that require immediate resolution.

These are administrative matters that have been overlooked by the management. Invincible and unabated, these insidious elements developed, embedded and have now become the norm in the organization. This is demoralizing to the honest and hardworking officers. Only the organization can put right these wrongs – nobody else. This does not require funding.

As it is, discipline cannot be enforced from the top down because the top is as corrupt as the lower echelons of the organization. There is no sense of pride in the organization. Policemen and women seek comfort in their regional and ethnical affiliations. Their allegiance and alliance to the state is secondary. The lack of national identity coupled with the animosity towards the organizations administrative debacles is demonstrated by the no-care attitude amongst the rank and file. We need a strict disciplinarian to bail out the organization from the status quo before it goes to the dogs.

I offer one proposal to the acting police commissioner and his senior management: review and enforce the entire recommendations on the 2004 Report of the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary done by the administrative review committee to the former Minister for Internal Security Hon. Bire Kimisopa. Concurrently, enforce the performance based appraisal. Retain only those who can perform and sack the free riders.

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