Papua New Guinea police officers have been issued with a Commissioner’s Circular on the approved use of force in the execution of their duties to protect lives from domestic terrorist and other criminal activities.
With the escalation of violence in the Highlands and other parts of PNG, Police Commissioner David Manning said officers must be clear on the extent of their powers.
And criminals needed to be warned of likely outcomes if they used weapons.
“Today, I issued a Commissioner’s Circular on the use of force against criminals to reinforce the lawful authority of police personnel,” he said.
“This is not a circular issue I issue lightly, but it is necessary and done so with the full support of the government in order to quell violence, particularly in the Highlands region.
“I have directed RPNGC personnel to be prepared to deploy lethal force where this is required and reasonable commanders are instructed to incorporate this directive into respective operational orders,” Manning said.
He said as part of this, RPNGC members were reminded when using force and lethal force to act in good faith and sound judgment in accordance with PNG’s laws.
Commissioner Manning said reports of criminals armed with weapons terrorising people — particularly in Enga Province — would not be tolerated.
“Police and PNGDF personnel are responding to criminal elements that commit violent acts on law-abiding and vulnerable communities.”
The Commissioner’s Circular issued today provides clear direction as to when and how lethal force is applied.
In simple terms, if a person was brandishing a gun, an explosive device, or other weapons, — such as a bush knife or catapult — force would be escalated to protect the public and police.
Domestic terrorists and other criminals had now been given more than fair warning, and they could expect no tolerance by security forces responding to crimes.
Last week, two gang leaders in East New Britain felt the full force of the law when they confronted police with firearms. Both gang leaders were killed and their associates arrested.
Republished with permission.