A Senior Officer in the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary has spoken out on many internal command & control and disciplinary issues and external law & order issues within the constabulary.
The officer has called for like-minded officials to rethink and re-engineer intervention strategies to address law & order issues.
“At the outset, all law & order issues must have a holistic approach; meaning the entrenched ill-discipline problems at all levels within the Commissioner of Police’s command & control value chain are manifesting in the public domain.”
After deep analysis of Engan Governor, Peter Ipatas’s statements in parliament last week on how the Negative Culture has totally eroded the recruitment process, he said the Governor’s questions on the floor of Parliament touched on some of the very core issues affecting both performance problems within the Force, to which he believes should have been addressed before the commencement of the recruitment.
Nepotism, Bribery, Incompetence, Police Brutality, Conflict of interest in certain cases and many other negative behaviour has made inroads into the structure of the Constabulary and for a very long time has tarnished the good name of the Force for many years and this has somewhat also affected recruitment in recent times.
Last week on the floor of parliament, Governor Ipatas put forward a question to the Internal Security Minister Peter Tsiamalili Jnr, asking him to give their plan on minimizing or limiting the problematic culture that surrounds recruitment into the Force and also Mentorship of newly sworn police officers.
The Governor implied through his statement that recruiting more men into the police force does not change the cultural problems faced in the force. Ipatas called for the ministry to come up with an effective strategy to combat this culture.
In response, Minister Tsiamalili Jnr said for this recruitment, because of the challenges faced with the culture, the first step they have taken is distance the recruitment process.
Without denying that fact, they have independently outsourced it making sure that it is an arms-length away from those who wish to compromise the system and also minimizing nepotism.
The minister advised that the only way the culture that Governor Ipatas was referring to, was for members of the force to respect the process. In saying this he called on the members to lead by example if they wanted to see a complete turnaround.
Despite the Governors calls for change, recruitment is set to go ahead. Over 26,000 citizens from all over the country already expressing interest in enlisting, with regular recruitment training to commence in April while Cadets commence training in May.
This move according to the officer creates more problems than solving them. He adds that they need to create an enabling and conducive incubation hub for maturing the cultural values of the Constabulary before recruiting.
“What good will it make if you have not created that enabling environment only to find that the 500 recruits you have recruited are sent out into the same operating environment; you conveniently created more problems than solving them.”
He adds that Effective Supervision is key in making a complete turn away from this trend in the force. The officer implies that rather than turning a blind eye to the problem they need to walk the talk.
“These are current problems affecting performance in the force today and if nothing is done about it, irrespective of how much money is allocated through funding that the Government allocates to fighting crime, the problems will still remain the obstacles to come in the future.”
He believes more should be done to change the culture within the constabulary so that when the new recruits enter the force, they will be entering into a conducive environment for them to conduct their service with the interests of the people at heart.