8 Mar 2005

PNG police commander reiterates he will maintain his hard line on crime

5:24 pm on 8 March 2005

The Mamose Police Chief in Papua New Guinea says he is ignoring criticism of his "shoot-to-kill" comments.

Commander Giosi Labi has publicly warned criminals that his men will not hesitate to shoot them if they're found disturbing the peace or creating fear.

The commander's comments have been criticised by the PNG Bishops' Conference, which has said it is proper to allow criminals to have their day in court.

However, Commander Labi says he will retain his hard-line attitude to crime.

"I have a job to do and my job is to protect life and property. I am not moved by his statement at all. People have the right to dwell on this earth, freely, without being threatened or without being in fear of being attacked or arrested. They have a considerate right to move around. It is not right for them to live in fear and as a law enforcer, I have a duty to protect life and property."

Commander Giosi Labi says 80 percent of crime is gun-related so a hard stance is needed by police.