German New Guinea established
1885: German New Guinea established – A German colonial police force is set up in the northeastern part of the island of New Guinea, which is under German administration.
British New Guinea established
1888: British New Guinea established – A British colonial police force is set up in the southeastern part of the island, which is under British administration.
British New Guinea becomes Papua
1905: British New Guinea becomes Papua – The British colonial police force continues to operate in the territory, now called Papua.
Australian forces occupy German New Guinea
1914: Australian forces occupy German New Guinea – During World War I, Australian forces take over the German territory, and the German colonial police force is disbanded.
League of Nations mandates Australian administration of former German New Guinea
1921: League of Nations mandates Australian administration of former German New Guinea – The territory is renamed the Territory of New Guinea, and an Australian-administered police force is established.
Japanese occupation during World War II
1942-1945: Japanese occupation during World War II – The police forces in both Papua and New Guinea are disbanded, and law enforcement is overseen by the occupying Japanese forces
Australian administration resumes in Papua and New Guinea
1945: Australian administration resumes in Papua and New Guinea – Separate police forces are re-established in each territory.
Papua and New Guinea merge under Australian administration
1949: Papua and New Guinea merge under Australian administration – The police forces of the two territories are combined to form the Royal Papua and New Guinea Constabulary (RPNGC).
Expansion and modernization
1950s-1960s: Expansion and modernization – The RPNGC expands its presence throughout the country and undergoes significant modernization, including the establishment of specialized units and increased training and professional development for officers
Self-government for Papua New Guinea
1973: Self-government for Papua New Guinea – The RPNGC continues to operate under the newly formed government, which is preparing for full independence.
Papua New Guinea gains independence
1975: Papua New Guinea gains independence – The RPNGC becomes the national police force of the independent nation.
1989-1998: Bougainville Crisis – The RPNGC is involved in operations against the Bougainville Revolutionary Army during the conflict on the island of Bougainville.
Capacity-building and international cooperation
2000s: Capacity-building and international cooperation – The RPNGC engages in capacity-building initiatives, such as the Papua New Guinea-Australia Policing Partnership, to improve its effectiveness and strengthen its international partnerships.
2018: APEC Summit – The RPNGC plays a key role in maintaining security during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit held in Port Moresby.
2023 and beyond
2023 and beyond
Ongoing efforts to improve policing and tackle crime – The RPNGC continues to work on modernizing its practices, improving community relations, and addressing challenges such as transnational crime, drug trafficking, and corruption.