A three-day Sexual Offences Squad (SOS) reflections workshop was held recently in Port Moresby with a view to improving investigations and prosecution of sex crimes.
The workshop, held at the Koitaki Country Club in Sogeri, on the outskirts of Port Moresby, was attended by the members of the Sexual Offence Squad of Boroko, Police prosecutors, a State prosecutor from the Office of the Public Solicitor of PNG and Advisors from the Papua New Guinea Australia Policing Partnership (PNG-APP).
The workshop was hosted by the Justice Services and Stability for Development (JSS4D) Program and led by Advisor Tevita Seruilumi and fully supported and funded under the Papua New Guinea Australian Partnership program in its priority areas to improve access to justice and help protection for survivors of family and sexual violence.
Mr Seruilumi said the workshop is a combination of reflection on the work of the SOS and to learn about some new areas they can improve on together as a group from prosecutions and investigations.
“Often when you do this work, it is not just exhaustive but also very traumatising and it impacts you.
“Not many people value and recognise the work of the CID and prosecutions, so this is one way to say thank you and also continue our learning,” Mr Seruilumi said.
The workshop was put together to reflect on the work of the SOS for the past three years and discuss the issues that arise as challenges, what currently works, and how they can improve in carrying out their duties diligently.
Police Prosecutor and Officer in Charge (OIC) Committal Court Sergeant Chris Iga said it was important that as prosecutors they know and understand how they would charge people committing sexual offenses, which relates to gender-based violence within the family circle, any organisation or the general public.
He said already on day one they had learnt a lot on topics surrounding sexual penetration of a minor, persistent sexual abuse, what kind of charges they can lay, understanding the concepts of why these laws have been changed or done away with such as the rule of corroboration, and the consent aspect of it.
Day one saw the participants paired into groups of two, with an exercise for crime scene identification, and search for elements that helped stimulate team work with a collaborative effort.
The workshop started on Thursday April 27 and ended on Saturday April 30, 2022.