8 Mar 2005

PNG police chief refuses to retract his call for his officers to shoot to kill criminals

8:21 pm on 8 March 2005

The Mamose Police Chief in Papua New Guinea says his "shoot-to-kill" comments are necessary in the current law and order climate.

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 alleged criminals to have their day in court.

However Commander Labi says 80 percent of the crimes committed in PNG are gun-related.

He says with those sorts of figures a hard-stance is needed.

"My statement is just a warning because last year I lost a policeman in Bulolo. He was shot at point blank range. These guys who shot him are trigger-happy. If they see police on the side, I'm sure they will shoot."

Commander Giosi Labi.