Australian Federal Police Boosts PNG Partnership With Capability Uplift

The AFP has handed over a Police Patrol Vessel (PPV) to the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary (RPNGC) to boost capability in addressing transnational crimes and support joint cross-border operations.

The AFP purchased PPV Minigulai from the Tasmanian Police and was today (18 June, 2024) officially commissioned and handed over to the RPNGC by Attorney-General the Hon. Mark Dreyfus KC MP.

As part of the RPNGC capability uplift, the AFP, through the PNG-Australia Policing Partnership (PNG-APP) will work closely with the RPNGC Water Police Directorate to train its members in the vessel's operation.

PPV Minigulai will assist RPNGC in the fight against transnational crime and will enable the RPNGC to deliver policing services to remote coastal communities across PNG.

AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw said the AFP was proud to support the commissioning of PPV Minigulai for the RPNGC.

"Police Patrol Vessel Minigulai will provide border protection, greater rescue capability and marine enforcement," Commissioner Kershaw said.

"This is an important tool in the fight against transnational organised crime, and we look forward to continuing to work closely with the RPNGC to help keep communities safe."

RPNGC Commissioner David Manning said the PPV Minigulai is an important mechanism to strengthen the rule of law in remote communities and ensure the RPNGC maintain an effective presence across the maritime arena.

"This new Police Patrol Vessel is the largest maritime asset in the RPNGC fleet, and will ensure the RPNGC continues to develop capacity, going from strength-to-strength to deliver an effective policing service to communities across our Country," Commissioner Manning said.

While in Port Moresby, Mr Dreyfus joined Commissioner Kershaw and RPNGC Commissioner David Manning on a tour of the Bomana Police Training College which will be the site of a new Recruit and Investigations Training Centre.

The new training centre will be delivered as part of the PNG-Australia Bilateral Security Agreement and will provide a regional centre of excellence to support the development of key capabilities by police forces across the Pacific.

RPNGC officers also demonstrated less than lethal use of force training to the visiting delegation.

The AFP, through PNG-APP has been training RPNGC officers in less than lethal use of force as well as providing less than lethal munitions and equipment.

This addresses a capability gap for the RPNGC when responding to incidents such as civil disorder or armed offenders.

The training has been delivered to RPNGC officers based in Port Moresby and is now being delivered in Lae. Training will be rolled out to other Provincial centres including Mount Hagen and Kokopo in the near future.

Also as part of Australia's commitments under the PNG-Australia Bilateral Security Agreement, the AFP is supporting the RPNGC with the construction of police housing across priority provinces commencing with the construction of police barracks-styled accommodation in Port Moresby, Kokopo and Mount Hagen.

This will allow RPNGC recruits to be placed in regional centres upon graduation.

Commissioner Kershaw and Commissioner Manning today also signed an extension of the Advisory Deployment of Australian Federal Police Memorandum of Understanding which will see AFP Advisors continue to work closely with their RPNGC counterparts until at least June 2027.

Commissioner Kershaw said the AFP is committed to maintaining and enhancing its relationship with the RPNGC.

"The AFP and RPNGC has a longstanding and positive relationship working together on law enforcement cooperation activities," Commissioner Kershaw said.

"We look forward to continuing to work closely with the RPNGC to ensure they are equipped with the support and tools needed to deliver effective policing services for their communities and the wider region."

Commissioner Manning said the continuation of the PNG-Australia Policing Partnership is an indicator of the strength and maturity of the relationship between the RPNGC and AFP.

"As longstanding partners, the RPNGC and AFP share a common view of the importance of ensuring police forces have the tools they need to meet the needs of their communities," Commissioner Manning said.

"Through the PNG-Australia Policing Partnership we are seeing a partnership that support us deliver region-leading training and capabilities to our police force, as well as support similar capabilities for police forces across our region."

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