Sunday 14 January, 2024
Acting Police Commissioner Donald Yamasombi, as Controller of the National State of Emergency (SOE) 2024, has issued five security measures to maintain peace and order during the 14-day period.
“The State of Emergency has been declared by the Acting Governor-General, acting on the advice of the National Executive Council, as a safeguard to prevent further civil unrest,” the Controller said.
“Our security forces were able to bring the civil unrest under control, but until we can be sure that there is no chance of a resurgence in the violence we have the policing authority to act swiftly.
“The security measures that have been authorized should not inhibit the movements of normal law abiding citizens, but will enable security forces to move quickly on troublemakers and their ringleaders.
These measures, authorized by Section 228 of the Constitution, aim to prevent further disturbances while ensuring minimal disruption to daily life for ordinary citizens.
Key Points of the SOE Security Measures:
- Public Gatherings: Security personnel have the power to disperse large groups, particularly around government or commercial buildings. They can also stop and search vehicles suspected of transporting people for public gatherings.
- Search and Seizure: To apprehend looters and recover stolen goods, security personnel can conduct warrantless searches of properties and vehicles with authorization from the Controller. Additionally, routine searches and rub-down searches for weapons are permitted.
- Alcohol Sale and Consumption: Alcohol sales will be restricted to licensed venues between 10:00 AM and 10:00 PM from Monday to Saturday. Consumption in vehicles, public places, or unlicensed outlets will be strictly prohibited.
- Price Controls: Businesses are ordered to maintain fair prices for essential goods and services during the SOE period. The Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC) will monitor compliance and investigate any reports of price gouging.
- Curfew: Currently, no curfew is in place. However, the possibility of its implementation remains if mob activity resurfaces.
The full details of the SOE Security Measures are available at: https://info.gov.pg/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/RPNGC-NEWS-SOE-SECURITY-MEASURES-240114FS.pdf