Papua New Guinea Government flags measures to combat law and order problems


The Papua New Guinea Government is promising to improve the law and order situation in PNG, with new laws covering white collar crime, rape and murder, while Australia will assist with police training.

Crowds gather for the National Haus Krai for violence against women last night in Port Moresby. Credit:

Crowds gather for the National Haus Krai for violence against women last night in Port Moresby. Credit:

Pressure has been building on the government to act, after a series of rapes and murders of local and foreign women, which has attracted negative publicity for PNG across the globe.

The proposals include:

  • re-activating the death penalty
  • rape will now attract life imprisonment without parole
  • armed robbery will attract 30 years
  • the Sorcery Act will be repealed so sorcery related crimes will be punishable under the Criminal Code and
  • the penalties for all forms of assault will be increased.
  • Alcohol licensing will now be a national function and no longer a provincial function and alcohol trading hours for alcohol will be limited.

The measures are due to be discussed in PNG’s National Parliament this week.

National Haus Krai

The mooted legislative changes will be discussed in Waigani in the same week as the National Haus Krai (house of mourning), a two-day nationwide protest against the high rate of violence against women, organised by women’s groups and non-government organisations.

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Policing package

The Australian Government has also agreed to a A$56 million (K123 million) package to provide training and support for the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary, PNG’s police force.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced the package during her visit to Papua New Guinea last week.

The new policing assistance program will involve 19 Australian Federal Police taking up roles including the Assistant Commissioner (Reform), Commandant of the Bomana Police Training College, and advisory support in areas such as the prosecution and investigation. The four-year program will also offer placements for PNG police officers with the AFP, Northern Territory Police and Queensland Police.

At a media conference, PNG’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said the police training facility would be rebuilt and admitted ‘we have not trained any single policeman over the last ten years’.