20 February 2014
Australia's Justice Minister meets Papua New Guinea's newest Police recruits
Minister for Justice Michael Keenan saw first-hand today how Australia is assisting Papua New Guinea’s more modern police force, equipped with skills for fighting crime and improving community safety.
Mr Keenan was at Bomana Police College in Port Moresby this morning where six Australian Federal Police (AFP) advisors are working with the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary (RPNGC) to train new recruits and deliver professional skills training to the PNG police.
Australia has recently deployed 50 AFP officers to Port Moresby and Lae to support PNG’s work to increase the number and quality of new recruits for the RPNGC.
“I was delighted to meet and congratulate some of the 223 new probationary constables who graduated last week,” Mr Keenan said.
“The training they have received and their ongoing professional development in years to come will be vital for the modernisation of the RPNGC.”
“Australia welcomes PNG’s allocation of funding to lift professional development opportunities and increase recruitment through to 2017 and we are committed to helping PNG realise this goal.”
As well as supporting management and trainers to develop and deliver a modern police curriculum, the AFP has helped PNG to deliver a six-month Senior Leadership Development Program through PNG-Australia Policing Partnership and the Australian Institute of Police Management.
Australia has also assisted PNG to improve the efficiency and rigour of the recruitment process, and processing times have been reduced from six months to six weeks.
Australia is currently working with the RPNGC to develop a competency-based curriculum that will strengthen PNG’s capacity to address family and sexual violence.
“Improving the police and criminal justice response to these issues is an important step towards reducing the cost to families, communities and the nation of PNG of these offences,” Mr Keenan said.
Mr Keenan’s three-day PNG visit reaffirmed Australia’s support for PNG’s law and justice priorities including transnational crime and policing.
Today, in Port Moresby, Mr Keenan accompanied AFP and RPNGC officers on a patrol of Gordons Market, where more regular, highly visible vehicle and foot patrols are strengthening the RPNGC’s ability to deliver effective and visible policing services for the people of PNG.
Mr Keenan also laid a wreath at the Bomana War Cemetery, which contains 3,823 Commonwealth memorials from the Second World War including the remains of 702 unidentified Servicemen.