22 Nov 2004

Australian police numbers in PNG now up over 60

9:22 pm on 22 November 2004

There are now more than 60 Australian Federal police working in Papua New Guinea under the Enhanced Cooperation Programme.

The ECP will eventually see 210 police sent to PNG to combat crime and help restore the credibility of the local force.

In the latest deployment 29 officers have arrived in Port Moresby and will begin street patrols in the capital on Friday.

The first officers were sent to Bougainville in late August and a spokesman for the Federal Police, Greg Keeley, says crime rates have already dropped there.

"Currently we've got 64 AAP personnel in Papua New Guinea. We'll have another 29 or 30 arriving in mid December, and then for the next 3 or 4 months after that, we'll have rollouts of between 30 and 50 officers."

Greg Keeley.

There will also be officers deployed to Lae and the Highlands.