23 Jun 2008

PNG Government advised ensuring wealth evenly spread likely to deter crime

7:36 pm on 23 June 2008

The Papua New Guinea Institute of National Affairs says buying guns back from people to try to cut soaring levels of crime is a simplistic approach to a complex issue.

The PNG Police Minister, Sani Rambi, says too many illegal guns are in the hands of the wrong people and he intends initiating a buy back programme.

But the executive director of the INA, Paul Barker, says this will not get to the bottom of the problem with criminals easily able to replace these surrendered weapons.

He says a similar scheme in Bougainville had limited success.

Mr Barker says the real need is for Government to create opportunities for people to participate in the economy.

"So the benefits of the economic growth that we are experiencing now, are not lost in small enclaves but that there are more opportunities for ordinary people to make a reasonable living out of agriculture, and out of a more broad based employment generation and income earning opportunities."

Paul Barker