BY FRANKLIN KOLMA
MEMBER for Central Bougainville Sam Akoita says police are commercialising their jobs.
Speaking in parliament during Grievances Debate, Mr Akoita said that he was getting reports around the country of police officers selling their services.
He said that is was deeply concerning to hear of members of the Royal Police Constabulary dealing out escort services and security jobs like mercenaries.
Mr Akoita told parliament that it was becoming a norm for civilians to pay at police stations prior to being assisted with issues that by law should be tended to by police personnel as a matter of professional obligation.
“Members of the Royal Police Constabulary seem to have forgotten that they are a regal and elite security unit charged with the protection of her majesties’ people which are all of us everyday Papua New Guineans,” said Mr Akoita.
He added that it was truly distasteful to think that PNG citizens who have been victimised by a criminal act go to the police in need of aid only to find more often than not, an insensitive officer who needs fuel money or lunch money before any help can be given.
“These kinds of instances make me wonder if we are truly giving our police force the resources and funding that is necessary to operate diligently in the country.
“Ordinary Papua New Guineans struggle with crime every day.
“It is a national issue to think that our people ca not even trust the very entity that is charged with their protection and the upkeep of the law,” explained the Central Bougainville MP.
Mr Akoita urged the Police Minister to ensure that the restructure of the police force that has been talked about for some time does occur and that with these restructuring comes training on good police ethics.
He said that the focus on money and concentrating on “what is in it for me” must stop.
“Being a police officer is a noble profession that is selfless at the core.
“If you want to make money, become a businessman or a lawyer,” said the member.