NZ police helping community policing in south Bougainville
New Zealand police extends its advisory role on Bougainville into the south of the region, around Buin.
The New Zealand police presence in the autonomous Papua New Guinea region of Bougainville has been extended to 11.
New Zealand has been sending officers as advisors to help with Bougainville's community policing programme for more than ten years.
But after requests last year from the ABG for more help New Zealand increased numbers from five to 11.
Detective Inspector Paul Tricklebank is head of the New Zealand Community Policing Project.
He spoke with Don Wiseman who began by asking him about the work that the CAPs, as they are called, do.
PAUL TRICKLEBANK: They are a part time police force who live out in the villages, in remote areas and they perform basic policing duties when the BPS, or the Bougainville Police Service, can't get in to those areas. So the perform the basic law enforcement duties out in the villages and the more remote areas. They are paid a sort of a stipend, sort of an allowance, for want of a better word, an allowance from the Autonomous Bougainville Government, and they do that role working with the BPS. For example if someone has been arrested by a CAP out in the community, they will contact the BPS and the BPS will come and meet that CAP who will hand the prisoner over to the BPS who will continue with the file and preparation for court.
DON WISEMAN: You have got people spread throughout the region and you are down into Buin in the south, and around Buin has been something of a problem child for Bougainville since the end of the Civil War. It's been a hub for little separatist pockets hasn't it? How's it going with your guys down there?
PT: Well January this year we were lucky enough to meet with all the community down there and some of the more militant factions that have sort of been controlling that area. And it was generally agreed that New Zealand police could come and start the Bougainville Community Policing Programme down there, which we have done. We have hired a house in the area and refurbished it and currently have four officers down in that area working with the Buin police. At the moment it is going really well. As you can imagine - there has been no police here for ten or fifteen years, apart from the BPS, so we haven't had that New Zealand involvement, but we are in there helping with that community policing programme and being well received by the local community. They are telling our guys they are glad to see them here and they are working with the Bougainville police, and from what I have heard from the chaps down there the Bougainville Police Service is happy to have them there, and are receiving the advice that our guys are giving them.
DW: There have been a lot of very violent incidents down there over the years, and a lot of guns still in the community down there.
PT: Going back yes it was known as one of the more violent areas but in recent times it has settled down and with the whole peace process moving forward, I think the people in south Bougainville wanted to become part of what is happening as Bougainville moves towards the referendum on independence, so I think attitudes have softened down there and they have welcomed us in. So that is not seen as a threatening or dangerous area but yes we are aware that there are still guns out in the community but they are rarely seen and that is just part of the ongoing peace process, and hopefully those firearms will be surrendered in time.
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