Police Commissioner David Manning has re-iterated that the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary (RPNGC) is ready to provide security to ensure a safe, free, and fair in the upcoming 2022 National General Elections.
Manning re-iterated this in response to an article published in one of the daily newspapers today stating that the police force may not be ready, especially with its stock of firearms and ammunition being down and the procurement taking longer than expected to get in new ammunition stock and the replacement of aging firearms.
Manning said the message from his Deputy Police Commissioner Anton Billie, was taken out of context by the media and that the firearms matter is nothing to worry about as there are currently firearms available to use during the election to provide security, especially in the volatile parts of the country as experienced in previous elections.
“The guns and ammunition, yes, we have an ongoing program to replace our aging weapons, of course over a period of time our weapons do become unserviceable, and of course the numerous incidences since the last election that has required members to use firearms has depleted our ammunition stock, but that does not mean that we are preparing for war come the elections.
“Our intent in precuring firearms and ammunition is to ensure that our people (police officers) are provided the best possible protection, not only for themselves but anyone for that matter that is involved in the election process, including the voters,” said the police commissioner.
Manning added that there are always risks during elections time in some parts of the country and there have been incidences where police officers lost their lives; thus, the use of firearms is sometimes necessary.
“I need not remind you all that, elections in this country are quite volatile. we’ve suffered casualties, unfortunate loss of lives of members of the force due to direct armed attack by members of the community.”
“Elections have its associated risks, high proliferation of high-powered firearms in our communities continue to be a risk that we work toward mitigating.”
Manning went on to say the equipment such as personal body protection, uniforms, firearms and ammunition, and logistical support is budgeted for but when the budget is not enough, support comes from partners which he is grateful of, especially at a time like this when the RPNGC is preparing for a major event in the country.
Nevertheless, Commissioner Manning is confident that police will provide the best possible security with the resources they have, after all the RPNGC has done so in the past elections along with its partner disciplinary organisations.
The post RPNGC FIREARMS NOT A CONCERN appeared first on PNG Haus Bung.

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