THE PAPUA New Guinea government will establish a police task force and hotline to target police brutality, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill announced in October.

The 30-person task force would work to instil discipline in officers and win back the public’s respect for police after recent instances of questionable conduct were reported in the media, Mr O’Neill said.

“We see it every day, about police brutality, lack of discipline in the police force,” he said.

“Many of the police force are now serving private interests rather than interests of the state and the people.”

Mr O’Neill was answering questions raised by Kundiawa member Tobias Kulang about frequent reports of police brutality in Port Moresby, with Mr Kulang saying the police force was a disgrace and had fallen into disrepute.

Mr O’Neill said the improper conduct was largely due to “outside influence”.

“Many times we see this influence creeping into the police force,” he said.

“Many of the policemen are serving private interests rather than the interests of the state and the people.

“When we have differences we have the courts which deal with these matters – we shouldn’t be running around trying to create an environment where vested interests are pursued at any costs.”

Police minister Robert Atiyafa would take charge of implementing the new system, Mr O’Neill said.