REFORMS designed to remove rogue and corrupt police officers within the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary (RPNGC) will be stepped up in March as new laws are introduced.

In his new year’s address, PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said 2016 would be a year of police reform, labelling it “a pressing issue for the nation.”

“Working with senior police officers we are setting in place procedures that will weed-out rogue and corrupt police,” he said.

“People are sick and tired of ‘rotten apples’ in the RPNGC.”

Chief among these are the introduction of a “one strike and you are out” policy for police who break the rules, he said.

“The message is clear. If you are a crooked cop you will be identified and ejected from the constabulary,” he said.

“We are putting the discipline back into our police service. People of our country are fed-up with the constant stream of bad news and allegations relating to police.”

“We need to restore honour in our constabulary,” he added.

In his early March address to Australia’s National Press Club, Mr O’Neill added that the reforms would restore chains of command, coming after the first new police men and women in over a decade were employed by the RPNGC.

“Our judiciary is now being properly funded for the first time in many decades,” he added.

“This is improving our courts system helping clear the backlog of cases that have been building for many, many years.”

The re-opened Bomana training college was another example of the nation’s investment in improving law and order, he said in January.

“Reform of a police force is not easy following so many years of neglect, but it is a job this Government takes seriously,” Mr O’Neill said.

Papua New Guinea Today reported that police in PNG’s National Capital District would divide the current policing jurisdiction into three separate policing districts – Waigani, Gordons and Badili.

The districts will be headed by Superintendents who will be appointed when the structure changes, in a move NCD Superintendent Ben Turi said would make it more efficient to serve the public.

“By July we hope the National Planning Department will accept our structure and take it into effect so that we can not live with the old model structure,” he told PNG Today.

Supt. Turi said minor offences will be dealt at these stations and other serious criminal, warrants, Indictment offences, and traffic offences and matters will be referred to Boroko Police Station.