18 Nov 2008

Call for more PNG police officers as population grows

2:10 pm on 18 November 2008

Papua New Guinea's former Chief Ombudsman, Ila Geno, has called for more police and for them to be better trained and resourced.

Mr Geno, who is a former police commissioner, told a class of graduating police recruits that the PNG force is struggling to meet modern challenges.

Don Wiseman has more:

"Mr Geno says while there has been a considerable increase in the country's population the force is the same size it was ten years ago. And he says this relatively smaller force is having to confront more sophisticated and organized criminals. Mr Geno says there is currently one police officer to 1,600 persons, but the UN acceptable ratio is 600 to one. He says a lot more work needs to be done to bring the number of police personnel to that acceptable level or even better. Mr Geno says while the Government has said it will double numbers by 2014, this will be a major challenge and requires a full commitment by the politicians. But he says it is not really quantity that matters but quality - the police need to be well-trained, well disciplined and committed."