Papua New Guinea
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Tougher Stance on domestic terrorism

The Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary is adopting a more robust approach to combat violent offenders and domestic terrorists, according to.

Commissioner of Police David Manning said the new direction includes empowering provincial police commands to collaborate with provincial administrations in addressing local crime issues. Instead of a historical emphasis on crime prevention, the police force will now concentrate on immediate responses to criminal activities and aggressive actions.

To support this shift, legislation is being developed to explicitly define domestic terrorism and outline the police force's counter-terrorism strategy.

Commissioner Manning emphasized that the previous "soft glove" approach has been ineffective, and law enforcement is now authorized to confront and neutralize criminal activities at the roots. The police are permitted to use reasonable force, including lethal force, when facing armed criminals threatening communities.

Recent results of this approach have led to successful arrests in Bosavi and Kompiam. The repositioning of police personnel to the streets, equipped with advanced mobile capabilities and modern communication systems, has contributed to the positive outcomes. Officers are being trained in escalated use of force, and they are bound by an oath to fulfill their duty in countering criminal activities.

While community policing remains important, regular RPNGC officers will focus on frontline policing, and Reserve and Auxiliary police will take on community engagement roles. The evolving force posture involves greater collaboration with provincial and district levels, where community leaders will play a key role in identifying local crime problems.

Commissioner Manning called upon open MPs to use their District Services Improvement Program (DSIP) Law and Order components to supplement operational budgets at the provincial and district levels. This approach has proven effective in addressing issues in Bosavi.

Traditional order displacement has contributed to an increase in local crimes, including gender-related and domestic violence, robberies, and general lawlessness. The engagement of PPCs with provincial and district leaders enables the police to effectively target responsive resources to neutralize criminal activities.