31 Jan 2008

PNG police crack down on squatter settlements in Port Moresby

11:16 am on 31 January 2008

Papua New Guinea police are cracking down on squatter settlements springing up in wealthier parts of Port Moresby after a 66-year-old woman nearly died in a brutal stabbing.

The growth of squatter housing in PNG's capital is causing alarm in wealthy Touaguba Hill because of a rise in violent robberies and intimidation in the area.

Many businessmen, diplomats and PNG politicians live on Touaguba Hill.

The woman, an American moved to PNG two months ago with her husband.

She is recovering in hospital in Port Moresby after being attacked in her home by a man this week.

She was was rescued by her neighbour.

Following the attack, police moved in to pull down squatter housing around the edge of Touaguba Hill.

Police say criminals are using the settlements to watch and monitor residents' movements and to hide out after burglaries, car thefts and violent attacks.