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Papua New Guineans urged to fight crime using Mobile phones

Papua New Guineans have been encouraged to use their mobile phones to fight crime instead of just relying on the ill-equipped police force.

PNG's Justice Panuel Mogish said this yesterday at the Port Moresby's  Waigani National Court while sentencing a young man for his part in a gang rape in which his crime was filmed on a mobile phone that had assisted the police and the prosecution team with his arrest, charge and successful prosecution, conviction, and sentence.

“This was the first case I have heard where an offender whose images were posted on the internet has been successfully prosecuted, convicted and sentenced,” the Judge said.

In that case the offender, James John, was captured raping his victim while one of his accomplices filmed the act on a phone. Later this was uploaded on social media by an unknown person.

Based on this evidence, John admitted to police to have been the person in the video penetrating the victim.

“Nearly everyone in PNG now have access to mobile phones; capturing images on mobile phones and making them available to the police confidential line is an effective method ordinary citizens can use in the fight against crimes,” Justice Mogish said.

He said capturing crimes on mobiles phones could produce the best evidence that would help police and the persecuting authorities, adding that “a picture tells a thousand stories”.

At the same, it was affordable and unsophisticated, the judge said.

“The time has come for the community to rise up and fight crime instead of relying on the police who are ill-equipped to deal with petty offences being committed in just about everywhere in Lae,” he said in relation to observations he made on two separate robbery cases he had previously presided over in Lae, Morobe Province.

Apart from mobile phones, Justice Mogish said these were also some of the growing numbers of cases where technology such as CCTV had been used to arrest criminals and combat the increasing crime.

He said in the two Lae cases, the CCTV cameras captured the offenders robbing two different shops in the city.

“The installation of CCTV is highly recommended in the age where robberies are now becoming rampant. Government, businesses, and individuals should now consider installation of CCTV at appropriate locations to deter crime. As is evident in these cases, it is a useful tool not only to deter offenders but also for the purpose of identifying offenders involved in the crime,” he said.


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