Papua New Guinea’s Deputy Police Commissioner Awan Sete has announced non-lethal weapons will be used to control disruptive crowds at the 2015 Pacific Games in Port Moresby.
The announcement comes in the wake of heavy public criticism over the handling and use of firearms by the Police.
As many as 2,500 Policemen and women will provide security at the Games, according to EMTV Online, assisted by a fraction of the Papua New Guinea Defence Force and Correctional Service personnel.
They will be issued with pan belts, batons, tear gas and spray, among other items.
The move to purchase the non-lethal weapons and other highly sophisticated equipment and survelliance technology was prompted by Port Moresby 2015.These assets are set to be redeployed at future major security operations, including the 2017 National Elections and the 2018 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting, the primary economic forum supporting sustainable economic growth and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.
The Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary (RPNGC) is due to start a public relations exercise, aimed at encouraging people to embrace the Games by working closely with communities.
The RPNGC are reported to be expecting a further 28 million Papua New Guinea Kina (£7 million/$10.5 million/€10 million) from the Government for accommodation, allowances and other security activities.
There is a high level of serious crime in Papua New Guinea, with law and order described as either "poor" or "very poor" in many parts of the country.
The Government reinstated the death penalty in response in May 2013, such was the frequency of violent crimes.
But amid growing international criticism of the use of capital punishment in the neighbouring country Indonesia, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill is now considering abandoning it in Papua New Guinea.The Government’s change of opinion follows the execution of foreign drug convicts from Brazil and The Netherlands, and potentially two from Australia, in Indonesia.
O'Neill claimed that there has been a 50 per cent decrease in major crimes, as well as a substantial fall in petty crimes, since the approval of the death penalty and believes the time has come to review the law-and-order measures.
Around 3,000 athletes from 21 nations are due to compete across 28 different sports at the 2015 Games, which are scheduled to take place from July 4 to 18.