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Police brutality tops lists of litigation cases against PNG Govt

Police brutality in PNG tops the list of offences which stands at K131 million (US$40.17 million) in litigation matters against the State dating as far back as 1992.

Second on the list against police is the violation of constitutional rights.

The litigation matters against the police are so immense that it is affecting the annual police budget.

This was confirmed by the police internal affairs directorate chief Robert Ali who said that more detailed information were being gathered by the Solicitor-General’s office.

“The cases are created and opened since 1992 and running into 2016, after 2016 we have no information as yet but it will climb from 8000 cases reported and the amount will also rise,” he said.

“These litigation matters affect and have a lot of implications on budget allocations to police. Police litigations are a serious concerns, through workshops and training programmes we are trying to deliver to appreciate and understand rights of police officers.

“Human rights issues we have serious problems in terms of policing them. We play an important role in the society and abide by the constitution and international standards is to observe the rights of individuals.

“Policing in this part of the world is challenging. We do it tough most of the times and we are advised to exercise a lot of restraint when we approach the citizens to make sure that their dignity is maintained at the same time we address policing issues.

“Many times, officers use their powers to enforce the laws but usually that does not work and we see most cases goes into lawsuits brought about by citizens.”

He said police officers need to enforce and at the same time respect the people they were dealing with.

“The police and the Solicitor-General will be holding a workshop that will provide information on these cases - broken into regions, provinces and commands. This information will be translated into what we can use to tell any command they have to bring their police officers in line,” he said.

“The information will also give us clear information on what is happening in our command.

“Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary has done its part in addressing these issues. Holding workshops is part of intervention programmes for all officers. These programmes allow us to look at targeted approaches that we can implement at the command level, said Ali.... PACNEWS

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