Poor policing blamed for mass prison breakout in PNG

7:52 pm on 11 June 2015

The lord mayor of Papua New Guinea's second city, Lae, has blamed poor policing and the slow court process for a mass breakout from the city's prison.

The newspaper, The National, reports that 68 inmates escaped from Buimo Jail in broad daylight last Friday.

The mayor, Koim Trilu Leahy, says he's disappointed at the mass breakout, saying he had initiated rehabilitation programmes at Buimo last Christmas.

He says one of the messages he conveyed to the inmates was to stop escaping.

Mr Leahy says he's not happy with the court system, saying remandees are often imprisoned for as long as a year before being tried, which frustrates them.

The mayor has appealed for the escapees to hand themselves in because he fears they will be killed if they remain on the run.