Kavieng MP Ian Ling-Stuckey has made a commitment of K1 million for police operations in the district leading up to the National General Election.
The funding is mainly for the operations of its rural outposts in the district. The district office confirmed the commitment and added that the district was also prepared to assist refurbishment some of the police facilities but they will have to work with the police headquarters in Port Moresby.
Mr Ling-Stuckey made this commitment after meeting with Chief Ombudsman Richard Pagen to address issues facing the Police and Correction Services in the province by using some of their PSIP and DSIP funds earmarked for law and order.
Mr Pagen met first with Member for Mr Ling Stuckey on January 4 on a one-day visit to the province to discuss and resolve the following issues:
- Over-crowding of the provincial jail which now houses more than 400 inmates which is double its capacity of only 250 people.
- Inadequate staff housing which has seen more than 10 married couples all bunked up together in a single male barracks
- Possible human rights abuses as the police lock ups do not have room for females and juveniles as well as overcrowding as numbers go above and beyond the allowed 20.
- It was also brought to the attention of the Ombudsman Commission that a 14-men single male barracks was condemned and it resulted in the province losing all 14 men who opted to leave the province because of lack of accommodation. This has significantly affected police man power in the province.
The above issues were complaints that the Commission gathered from Kavieng during a public education programme in the province in 2021.
The approach the Ombudsman Commission has taken is pursuant to Section 218 (b) of the Constitution which gives the Commission the mandate to ensure that Government Services are delivered and unfair practices are eliminated. The Ombudsman Commission also visited other New Guinea Island (NGI) provinces of Manus and West New Britain regarding similar issues.
Mr Pagen stated that law and order is a priority and national institutions like Police and CS were custodians of law and order. It was important that they were well looked after.
He said that although they are national institutions, they are local service providers and they should qualify for funding under the law and order component of the DSIP and PSIP.
Mr Ling Stuckey expressed gratitude to the Chief Ombudsman for visiting the province while Namatanai MP Walter Schnaubelt sent his apologies as he was out of the country.