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Attacks on cops in PNG worry Police boss Perou

FOUR separate attacks on members of the Police Force within a span of one week in Port Moresby has irked the acting Metropolitan Commander Ndranou Perou, who has called on authorities to increase the penalty on assaulting a police officer.

"The current penalty of six months imprisonment must be increased to two years so that it becomes an effective deterrent," said Superintendent Perou.

In a press conference yesterday, Supt Perou said a senior police officer was assaulted at Nine Mile outside Port Moresby on August 16 by a man believed to be from Tari in which the policemen’s left eye was permanently damaged. The policeman was in the middle of stopping a fight between the two conflicting parties from Tari.

The second incident was on August 19 at Tete settlement where two CID officers in hot pursuit of a taxi that failed to stop at a road block were assaulted by the tribesman of the taxi driver. Both officers were assaulted for carrying out their constitutional duty to apprehend the driver.

The third incident occurred on August 20, at Moonbi Street in Korobosea where a police unit while dispersing drunks that were drinking in public and acting disorderly at the location were assaulted. On Friday August 22, at Gordon Market members of Gordon police on foot patrol were assaulted by a mob at the market when they tried to serve a court warrant. Supt Perou said the suspect incited the crowd who turned against the police.

"Who will police NCD when police officers cannot safely perform their constitutional role? Police officers could in the future feel reluctant to attend to reported cases where they think that they might be attacked again.

"If this trend continues it won’t be long before anarchy reigns. Already the public see police as not responsive, and these attacks on police could get worst. Do we need that?" Supt Perou asked.

"The biggest fear is that we all are to consider seriously, is if the members on duty are in fear of being attacked and do not attend to serious crimes, what will happen?

"Particularly if you are being attacked sometimes in the near future, and when you ask for police they would not come. It is all because the police officers fear being attacked too, and not from the assailant but from the public that the criminal is living amongst.

"I am appealing to the majority law abiding citizens to respect the police in executing their lawful duties. The minority criminal minded people that are doing such attacks are living amongst you. Do not support them and do not prevent police from apprehending or arresting them as they will only bring misery to you."

ONEPNG/Post COurier

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