Commissioner of Police, David Manning, has directed RPNGC Deputy Commissioner of Operations, Anton Billie, to investigate allegations that the owner of a business in Banz, Western Highlands, was attending his public store wearing a police uniform.
A video of the man has also been circulated on social media and this has prompted further questions from the public.
Mr Manning said, “DCP Ops (Deputy Commissioner Operations) has reported to me that the man had no legitimate reason to be wearing a police uniform at the time he was seen in public.
“The man has been identified and had the right to have his explanation heard, however he could offer no plausible reason for him purporting to be executing official police duties when he had no authority to do so.
“Based on the evidence before me, this person will now be charged with a series of disciplinary and criminal offences likely under the Police Act and the Criminal Code.
“Through this disciplinary process, that comes with penalties including fines, his purported appointment in the Reserve Constabulary will be subject to further investigations, and criminal charges filed.”
Commissioner Manning said the incident serves as a warning to any member of the Reserve Constabulary that they are bound by a code of conduct and disciplinary measures, and these are being enforced.
“Reservists around the country were stood down following the elections, after they had completed their appointed roles. The only Reserve personnel who are performing official tasks now are RPNGC specifically trained and approved reserves.
“All other Reservists require formal authorization from the Office of the Commissioner of Police in order for them to wear a uniform or carry out policing tasks.
“The RPNCG has undertaken a program to reform the Constabulary Reserve that included standing down most Reservists soon after I was appointed Commissioner.
“Since then, we have been building the ranks of the Reserves, with appropriate training and understanding of their constitutional duties and responsibilities.”
The Commissioner concluded by noting the success of the PRNGC Reservist recruitment program from 2021 has provided a number of quality new recruits who served the country diligently during the recent National General Election.