22 Jul 2008

PNG police force is not divided, says commissioner

8:26 pm on 22 July 2008

Papua New Guinea's Police Commissioner, Gari Baki, says there's no division in the force.

Claims of division within the Royal PNG Constabulary have surfaced in local media following the arrest of several policemen.

Three serving police officers and former member of the force have been arrested along with several others in connection to recent robberies at Bank South Pacific branches in Madang and Kerema.

Around one point two million US dollars were taken in the robberies during which some of the thieves wore police uniforms and took bank staff hostage.

Commissioner Baki say the law will come down hard on police officers breaking the law, but denies this will create divisions in the force.

"There is no division in the police force. Media is using that angle to try and capitalise on this whole issue and create an issue that there is division in the force. These (the arrested officers) are policemen down the line and as far as I'm concerned, as Commissioner of Police, no police officer should associate himself with a criminal. So if he's a serving officer and he's associated himself with a criminal, and he found himself being arrested then he has to be dealt with according to the law."