Police in have been given the go ahead to use lethal force by the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary following recent escalation in violence in certain parts of the country.
According to the top tier of the RPNGC the authorization of force, including lethal force, reinforces police functions and powers under the Arrest Act 1977.
As per a circular instruction, Deputy Commissioner Operations, Dr. Phillip Mitna from Police Headquarters, advised that Members are expected to act in good faith, exercise sound judgment, and without prejudice when deploying any level of force.
“The approach to stepping up the use of force, including lethal force, is part of re-conceptualizing policing in the country.”
“The focus is more on reactive as opposed to community policing”.
“Community policing is still essential but takes a secondary priority.”
The prevailing situations and circumstances in the country, particularly the increased number of arms and ammunition and the subsequent commission of violent criminal activities demand a more reactionary approach.
“Police have been advised to integrate this directive into your strategic and action plans, including operational orders, and emphasize this directive to all ranks and files under your command.