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Former judge Brunton calls for the resignation of Milne Bay Governor & Police Commander

Alotau has seen a steady increase in armed robberies, shootings and assaults.

What has become obvious  in Alotau and the Milne bay province is a  general break  down in  law and order.

You don’t have to go to a police station to see the occurrences being reported.  They are being posted onFacebook  regularly.  Over the last three years,  the provincial capital  has seen a steady increase in criminal activities.  Shops are being robbed in broad daylight. Many of the criminals are getting away without being caught.  

In July  2016, a policeman attending to a robbery was shot as he exited  a police vehicle onto a road. An American tourist  filming at the time, captured the graphic video and posted on YouTube.

Police Commissioner, Gary Baki,   issued orders for  investigations.  Alotau police followed up with arrests.  But the criminal activity continued.

In June 2018, the Bank South Pacific ATMs at  Hagita  was ransacked. Nobody was hurt but it  added to the long list of  crimes that continued to  erode public confidence.

In a statement, Bank South Pacific said:  “We would also like to express our disappointment at yet another violent robbery in the Province and advise that we will not replace the ATM until security in the area improves.”

The incident followed another  armed robbery outside BSP’s  Alotau branch in December2017 during which two people died. 

A month later, criminals robbed tourists at  the Tawali Resort. They took wallets,  cash  and other valuables  from the Asian and North American tourists. Eyewitnesses reported that the gang of 16 men were armed with assault weapons.

As the number  of robberies, shootings and armed assaults rose, public confidence in Police was on a steady decline.

In November, a  drunk policeman drove a vehicle into a group instantly   killing a woman and two children. Relatives of the woman and children blocked off  roads and demanded that the offenders be arrested.

In just one  month,  there has been another crisis.

Overnight, police burned 17 houses at the Kitava compound leaving 27 families homeless.  Eyewitnesses said police were searching for criminals who had robbed a Chinese restaurant in town and escaped through the settlement.

Alotau resident and former judge, Brian Brunton, has since called on the Police Commissioner to remove the Provincial Police Commander. He has also called for the Governor, Sir Luke Cretin, to resign.

“There is absolutely no leadership here,” Brunton said.  “There are serious piracy concerns in the area where the Justice Minister comes from.  Nothing is being done about it.

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