The Catholic church in Papua New Guinea is backing a call for the army to be deployed to restore law and order in Port Moresby.
The capital's Governor, Powes Parkop, asked for the Defence Force be called in to patrol the city for at least one year to combat the rising level of crime.
The General Secretary of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands, Father Victor Roche, says over the last few weeks there have been a number of petty and more serious crimes, such as rape and murder, carried out.
He says the police can't handle it on their own.
"It is truely, of course, the manpower of the police is quite low and they need more manpower. Secondly there is an attitude among the criminals that whatever they do, they get away free."
Father Victor Roche says members of the public have also become silent bystanders who feel they cannot do anything about the crimes being committed.