2 May 2013

PNG police accused of serving interests of LNG owners

6:22 pm on 2 May 2013

A former police commissioner in Papua New Guinea says the police who have been deployed to the Liquefied Natural Gas project site are acting more as security guards for the developer's employees rather than serving the public.

Gari Baki now works with a private security company at ExxonMobil's LNG site in Hela province.

As police commissioner Mr Baki signed a memorandum of understanding that resulted in the deployment of police there with the intention of providing services to the community living in the vicinity of the project.

But he says the police are confined to the site and operate under the direction of the company.

"Once you get tangled down on somebody else's responsibility and you're not performing your primary functions as defined by the constitution then we've lost the plot. If there is nothing put properly in place it can develop into something much bigger than anyone can think of."

Gari Baki says outside of the project site there are only three police to nearly 30,000 people in the Komo region.

He says the government needs to intervene and resource police properly so they can deal with growing lawlessness in the area.