Papua New Guinea
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Violent offenders will be neutralised, says Manning

With the rise in the number of criminals who are now armed and shooting at the police, Police Commissioner David Manning says “all gloves are off”.

“We will not be practicing any leniency and we will neutralise the criminals through any means meaning they will be shot and killed.”

A fortnight ago in Northern province a police man was shot and killed by armed 16 year-olds who had access to firearms and were committing crimes in the province.

This week settlers who were allegedly evicted opened fire at police officers with a stray bullet hitting and wounding a female reporter.

The escalating law and order problems even got Prime Minister James Marape and former prime minister Peter O’Neill “yelling” and blaming each other over daily killings nationwide.

Mr O’Neill took Mr Marape to task to explain what the government’s plans were among others, on tackling the escalating law and order situation nationwide.

However, Mr Manning says: “The RPNGG is moving from what had been an overarching emphasis on crime prevention over recent decades, to focus on responding to criminal activity and countering aggression head-on.

“Standing Orders for police officers to neutralise violent offenders through the escalated and reasonable use of force are being reinforced across units.”

The RPNGC, with the support of the Marape-Rosso Government, is repositioning police personnel and assets to take a harder stand against violent offenders and domestic terrorists.”

He further stated: “The ‘soft glove’ approach as the frontline policy has not worked, and now the gloves are off and the frontline is the confrontation and neutralization of criminal activity at its roots.

Police officers are trained in the escalated use of force when confronting criminal activities, up to and including the use of lethal force, and they have sworn an oath to fulfil this duty he added.

Mr Manning added that an important component of this direction includes further empowering Provincial Police Commands to engage with Provincial Administrations to respond to local crime problems.

“Legislation is being developed that clearly articulates actions of domestic terrorism, and the changes in our police force counter-terrorism approach will be reflected in this policy development.

According to information received the estimated civilian firearm possession stands currently at the tens of thousands.

With the high number of the proliferation of firearms since 2022, the number of firearms has increased to an unknown figure.