A TOTAL of 272 police recruits have graduated from the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary Bomona Training College,Among the new recruits are 23 Bougainvilleans, 16 men and 7 women who were part of a Pre-Recruit Education Program (PREP) before entering the college.

In 2015, through PREP, these recruits participated in training on the law, literacy and numeracy, human rights and conflict resolution, team building, information technology, and communication.

The program, designed to support Bougainville’s vision of professional community-based policing, enabled their successful entry into the college – with the police officers to return there to serve in the Bougainville Police Service.

PREP was funded by Australia together with the Autonomous Bougainville Government and the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary.

PNG prime minster Peter O’Neill said PNG had more police on duty around the nation, saying the government was delivering a new approach to policing and law enforcement.

“I congratulate the commissioner and senior police staff for the reforms that they are leading and their commitment to raising police standards,” he said.

“We are strengthening the judiciary to better try defendants in a transparent environment where they can fully execute their right a fair hearing,” he said.

“We are better equipping our prisons to rehabilitate and prepare prisoners to have a lawful life once they are released.”