5 Nov 2013

Australia police in renewed PNG mission

4:38 pm on 5 November 2013

There will be 57 Australian police personnel in Papua New Guinea by the end of the year, after a new co-operation scheme began this week.

The first 30 arrived this week and next month will be joined by another 20 officers with 37 being sent to Port Moresby and 13 to Lae.

There will also be 7 support staff.

While the officers will be in Australian uniforms, they will only have an advisory role, aiming to improve the community policing capabilities of the PNG force and helping in specialised areas such as sex offences.

The renewed police links come more than eight years after Australia withdrew a team of more than 150 officers after a court ruled that they could not claim immunity from prosecution in a PNG court.

This new group will have no immunity but a PNG police spokesperson says this will not be an issue because the Australians will not be working as line officers as was the case eight years ago.