Police go on rampage in PNG Highlands

8:33 pm on 9 June 2015

More than 300 villagers in Enga are homeless after uniformed policemen from the Western Highlands Province in Papua New Guinea went on rampage in their village destroying private and state property.

Enga police confirmed more than 150 police personnel were involved and they torched 10 houses, seven trade stores and destroyed local food on display at the Tautau market.

Enga Police say the rampage was due to a break down in communication.

The Provincial Police Commander for Enga, George Kakas, says officers from the Western Highlands entered Enga province to arrest a murder suspect without informing local authorities and were subsequently pulled up at the Enga police border checkpoint.

Superintedent Kakas says relatives of the suspect then helped him to escape prompting the infuriated Western Highlands officers to return to their station, gather reinforcements and return for a rampage at the Enga police border.

"Police in Hagen numbering about a hundred or so plus with sixteen vehicles came and rampaged at the checkpoint area. They burned several houses at the village. They burned the market down, one or two stores and then they also damaged the police post, that really upsets me because there is lack of command and control."

The Provincial Police Commander says the whole incident could have been avoided with a simple phone call from the Western Highlands police to let his officers in Enga know that they were coming for the murder suspect.

Enga Provincial Police Commander Superintendent George Kakas.

Enga Provincial Police Commander Superintendent George Kakas. Photo: google+ / Kakas

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