PNG's capital cracks down on alcohol abuse
Papua New Guinea's National Capital District is considering law changes in as part of plans to tackle alcohol abuse in Port Moresby.
Papua New Guinea's National Capital District is considering law changes as part of plans to tackle alcohol abuse in Port Moresby.
The NCD governor Powes Parkop has announced his administration is working on cleaning up the capital and changing what he describes as a low standard of lifestyle which has dominated society.
Mr Parkop told Beverley Tse the consumption rate of alcohol is excessive and leads to drunk and disorderly behaviour and violent crimes.
POWES PARKOP: We have young men who have no regard for the public and their community. The engage in unnecessary drinking, and when they're drunk and disorderly this leads to bigger problems like ethnic conflicts. When somebody gets affected out of this drunken behaviour or nuisance, their relatives join in and the relatives of the drunken people join in because the people are still affiliated to each other by clans and tribes and so on. So it becomes a bigger problem.
BEVERLEY TSE: So when are you looking at introducing an alcohol ban?
PP: I'm not really looking at the ban. I'm looking at ways in which we can tighten the abuse or control those who are drunk and disorderly. Some of the things that I'm looking at at this time, we're just thinking out of our heads at this time, is for example changing the constitution so that we can allow those who are drunk and disorderly to be detained by police, not necessarily to charge them and submit them to a court process which is just a waste of time and money. We just allow the police to have the power to detain them, and when they're sober, maybe within a few hours or overnight, we can release them back into their communities. And the police need to be proactive in this respect, because the problem is that when we don't deal with them they create a bigger problem, resulting in violence and death and destruction. So I need the police to be proactive, without having to consume time and resources charging them. It's just a waste of time.
BT: I understand you're limiting the sale of alcohol from certain premises or certain businesses.
PP: Well, that law we have it now. We only allow people with licenses to trade. In Port Moresby we have a lot of illegal outlets that we haven't clamped down on and we might need to clamp down on those, shut those outlets because they are selling and people are consuming 24-7 and those are the cause of the problems in our community. One other initiative that I've been thinking about is we might issue licences to individuals. We give licenses to traders to trade, but we might require the public to also have licences to consume, to purchase. If you don't have a licence then the operator shouldn't sell you any alcohol at all.
Powes Parkop says he hopes to introduce stronger restrictions on alcohol by the middle of this year.
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