Police concern about rise in internal migration to New Ireland

(Report by Police Media Officer Jessemie Amlakwin.)

New Ireland Provincial Police Commander Superintendent Albert Beli, has raised serious concerns about the increase in the migration of people from other provinces into New Ireland.

Superintendent Beli said the influx of people into New Ireland can lead to an increase in crime and other law and order problems.

Mr Beli, who recently transferred from East Sepik, said the crime rate in New Ireland is manageable compared to other provinces he served in as PPC over the last eight years, especially in the Highlands and East Sepik. He said the situation is manageable in New Ireland because the local people take ownership of law and order issues within their province.

Mr Beli said, “Community leaders and the people are very responsible and take law and order as part of their business. They participate actively in reporting and conducting citizen arrests which really encourages policing here in the province.

“My concern is with the increasing number of migrants coming in from East and West New Britain and settling into communities. People have been crossing over from Kokopo into Namatanai and travel up the highway to settle in New Ireland.

“This is likely to have a negative impact as most of them turn to informal sectors for survival which is bound to create social issues as well.”

Mr Beli said one of his policing strategies to address the influx of people coming in from other provinces is to work hand in hand with community leaders to locate, identify and keep track of these people. He said community leaders know their people better so it will be their responsibility to take stock of their people and the migrants who are living with them.

“In the event that their actions indicate that they are not fit to live amongst the people in the communities, they will be sent back to where they came from and police will make sure of that. This will send a warning signal to the rest of the people migrating into the province as well as those who wish to do so,” PPC Beli said.

Mr Beli is impressed with the community participation in policing and encourages policemen and women in the province to uphold their standards in carrying out their duties professionally.

“If the people are not turning blind eyes to crimes committed or about to be committed and alert the police for prevention and safety, I want all policemen and women to be prompt and work together with the people.

“We have a duty statement as police officers and we must do our work diligently and continue to encourage community participation. Let’s also be professional in our conducts. Be presentable in our appearances and uphold discipline in our line of duty at all times. Attendance at work and punctuality sets an example to our people of what a good citizen should be like,” PPC Beli concluded.

New Ireland Provincial Police Commander Superintendent Albert Beli