The altercation between Police officers and members of the Defence Force this week has left many questioning the integrity and discipline of the two forces and whether or not members of the disciplinary forces adhere to command from the top.
Social media had a part to play in the events that unfolded over the weekend and boiled over on Monday between the two Forces.
Members from both sides’ resorted to social media in their own way, either to instigate or incite violence, provocation, threatening and challenging authority which goes against everything the PNG Defence Force and the Royal PNG Constabulary stands for.
During the joint press conference this week between Police and Defence, a question was put forward to both men – Police Commissioner David Manning and PNGDF Commander Major General Gilbert Toropo on what their respective organizations are doing to control how their members are using social media.
Police Commissioner David Manning said social media has provided another set of unique challenges that they have to deal with and it’s also part of the modern challenges of being leaders.
“The question of whether or not we are concerned about junior officers openly through social media challenging directives and the positions that the office of the Commissioner takes, is we are guided by our Police Force Act, we are also guided by our internal investigation processes and if I get frustrated by every nonsense posted on social media, I will be forced to deal with that on a day to day basis.”
Commissioner Manning said one of the key areas of the Command and Control doctrine in the Force is self-discipline and it goes back to individual officers.
“How you conduct yourself on and off duty pretty much keeps you relevant in your organization.”
“We have not personally had a hand in every single member that has been brought on to our organization but we are stuck with them and we will deal with them.”
Manning said he shares the same sentiment and concern with the public on how officers are behaving on social media, however the officers may not be aware of their own actions.
Meanwhile PNGDF Commander Major General Gilbert Toropo mentioned similar challenges they are being faced with the service men and women on how they conduct themselves on social media.
Toropo said PNGDF is currently working with the Department of Communication and Information to come up with a Social Media Policy that can act as guide to what the members should post and not post on social media.