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In pictures: Port Moresby's rugged streets
Violent crimes in Papua New Guinea capital, Port Moresby have become common due to ethnic divisions and poverty.
Last Modified: 05 Oct 2012 11:08

Since Australia granted Papua New Guinea independence in 1975, its capital Port Moresby has become synonymous with violent crime carried out by "raskol" gangs.  

Although much of the crime is driven by poverty, tribal allegiance also plays a part in the ethnically diverse capital. Papua New Guinea has more than 760 distinctly different languages. 

The raskol street gangs control much of the city of 250,000 inhabitants, some armed with automatic weapons and machetes. Raskol raids on businesses and compounds are common.   

Unemployment has been estimated between 60 and 90 per cent in the city. In 2004, Port Moresby received the dubious honour of being named the world's least liveable city by the Economist.

While most expatriates live within fortified compounds, it is the native Papuans who bear the brunt of Port Moresby's violent crime. The city's largest police station is located in Boroko in the southeast.  

According to station commander, Senior Inspector Mark Yangan, an average week consists of about three murders, four rapes, and 30 car-jackings. Few murders are ever solved and Yangan admits the rape statistic is misleading, as most go unreported. As a whole, Port Moresby has a murder rate of 54 per 100,000 citizens, more than 10 times Australia's national average. 

Most of Port Moresby's citizens live in the grip of poverty with low or no wages. The nation's corrupt and ineffectual government provides no social security, and many essential items are imported and therefor beyond people’s means. Sanitation is inadequate and in recent years, Port Moresby has seen its first cholera outbreaks since the 1960s.

The compounds of the city’s close-knit expatriate community are protected by security guards and attack dogs. The Australian High Commission, surrounded by high concrete walls and razor wire, provides arguably its most secure accommodation. It is jokingly referred to by locals as "Fort Shit-Scared".

Until recently the island-nation has been unable to capitalise on its abundant natural resources. Many hope that an ExxonMobil-led  $16bn liquefied natural gas project will halt the country’s slide into poverty and chaos. Currently in its construction phase, the gas reserves are expected to double Papua New Guinea’s GDP within 30 years.

 


Dave Tacon/Al Jazeera
Graffiti and razor meet Port Moresby residents throughout the city.


Dave Tacon /Al Jazeera
Port Moresby received the dubious honour of being named the world's least liveable by The Economist in 2004.


Dave Tacon /Al Jazeera
A police officer calls in while on patrol.


Dave Tacon /Al Jazeera
Detainees are marched into custody.


Dave Tacon /Al Jazeera
Although crime is driven by poverty, tribal allegiance also plays a part in the ethnically diverse capital.


Dave Tacon /Al Jazeera
Unemployment has been estimated at anything between 60-90 per cent.


Dave Tacon /Al Jazeera
A bullet-pierced police vehicle exemplifies the dangers officers face.


Dave Tacon /Al Jazeera
An average week consists of 3 murders, 4 rapes, and 28 car-jackings.


Dave Tacon /Al Jazeera
Australia granted Papua New Guinea independence in 1975.


Dave Tacon /Al Jazeera
A rooftop near a Chinese shop is a late-night hangout for street dwellers.



images:
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captions:
Graffiti and razor meet Port Moresby residents throughout the city. ;*;Port Moresby received the dubious honour of being named the world\(***)s least liveable by The Economist in 2004.;*;A police officer calls in while on patrol.;*;Detainees are marched into custody.;*;Although crime is driven by poverty, tribal allegiance also plays a part in the ethnically diverse capital.;*;Unemployment has been estimated at anything between 60-90 per cent. ;*;A bullet-pierced police vehicle exemplifies the dangers officers face. ;*;An average week consists of 3 murders, 4 rapes, and 28 car-jackings.;*;Australia granted Papua New Guinea independence in 1975.;*;A rooftop near a Chinese shop is a late-night hangout for street dwellers. Daylife ID:
1348747137528
Photographer:
Dave Tacon;*;Dave Tacon ;*;Dave Tacon ;*;Dave Tacon ;*;Dave Tacon ;*;Dave Tacon ;*;Dave Tacon ;*;Dave Tacon ;*;Dave Tacon ;*;Dave Tacon
Image Source:
Al Jazeera ;*;Al Jazeera ;*;Al Jazeera ;*;Al Jazeera ;*;Al Jazeera ;*;Al Jazeera ;*;Al Jazeera ;*;Al Jazeera ;*;Al Jazeera ;*;Al Jazeera
Gallery Source:
Daylife
Daylife Raw Data:
Portmorehttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Portmoreen-usAl Jazeerafeedback@daylife.com10Thu, 27 Sep 2012 11:58:56 GMTFri, 28 Sep 2012 09:23:29 GMT http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Portmore?image_id=01lp3tL10P8eUGraffiti and razor meet Port Moresby residents throughout the city. Fri, 28 Sep 2012 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Portmore?image_id=01lp3tL10P8eUDave TaconAl Jazeera Al Jazeera Upload ImagesGraffiti and razor meet Port Moresby residents throughout the city. http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Portmore?image_id=01crgkS5xw2U6Port Moresby received the dubious honour of being named the world's least liveable by The Economist in 2004.Fri, 28 Sep 2012 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Portmore?image_id=01crgkS5xw2U6Dave Tacon Al Jazeera Al Jazeera Upload ImagesPort Moresby received the dubious honour of being named the world's least liveable by The Economist in 2004. http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Portmore?image_id=0gSB4cB2Ut8sCA police officer calls in while on patrol.Fri, 28 Sep 2012 07:58:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Portmore?image_id=0gSB4cB2Ut8sCDave Tacon Al Jazeera Al Jazeera Upload ImagesA police officer calls in while on patrol. http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Portmore?image_id=09fueZi5kEgjdDetainees are marched into custody.Fri, 28 Sep 2012 07:58:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Portmore?image_id=09fueZi5kEgjdDave Tacon Al Jazeera Al Jazeera Upload ImagesDetainees are marched into custody. http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Portmore?image_id=09iv5GbdDm3PmAlthough crime is driven by poverty, tribal allegiance also plays a part in the ethnically diverse capital.Fri, 28 Sep 2012 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Portmore?image_id=09iv5GbdDm3PmDave Tacon Al Jazeera Al Jazeera Upload ImagesAlthough crime is driven by poverty, tribal allegiance also plays a part in the ethnically diverse capital. http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Portmore?image_id=0cNi5TzdsMdxDUnemployment has been estimated at anything between 60-90 per cent. Fri, 28 Sep 2012 07:58:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Portmore?image_id=0cNi5TzdsMdxDDave Tacon Al Jazeera Al Jazeera Upload ImagesUnemployment has been estimated at anything between 60-90 per cent. http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Portmore?image_id=0fGGanr8ob188A bullet-pierced police vehicle exemplifies the dangers officers face. Fri, 28 Sep 2012 07:59:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Portmore?image_id=0fGGanr8ob188Dave Tacon Al Jazeera Al Jazeera Upload ImagesA bullet-pierced police vehicle exemplifies the dangers officers face. http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Portmore?image_id=04A2aW09a48sdAn average week consists of 3 murders, 4 rapes, and 28 car-jackings.Fri, 28 Sep 2012 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Portmore?image_id=04A2aW09a48sdDave Tacon Al Jazeera Al Jazeera Upload ImagesAn average week consists of 3 murders, 4 rapes, and 28 car-jackings. http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Portmore?image_id=09xt32T99ea1LAustralia granted Papua New Guinea independence in 1975.Fri, 28 Sep 2012 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Portmore?image_id=09xt32T99ea1LDave Tacon Al Jazeera Al Jazeera Upload ImagesAustralia granted Papua New Guinea independence in 1975. http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Portmore?image_id=00QAab1dCz8XFA rooftop near a Chinese shop is a late-night hangout for street dwellers.Fri, 28 Sep 2012 07:59:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Portmore?image_id=00QAab1dCz8XFDave Tacon Al Jazeera Al Jazeera Upload ImagesA rooftop near a Chinese shop is a late-night hangout for street dwellers.

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