MPs voice need to pri­ori­tise drop in crime

The Myanmar Times - - News - HTOO THANT thanhtoo@mm­ – Trans­la­tion by Zar Zar Soe

NOT­ING that crime has not de­clined in re­cent years, mem­bers of the Pyithu Hlut­taw urged the Union gov­ern­ment to take more proac­tive measures to cut the crime rate yes­ter­day.

“Pur­su­ing sharp de­clines in crimes is very im­por­tant for peo­ple who have been liv­ing in fear and with­out hu­man rights,” said Pyithu Hlut­taw MP Daw Khin Hnin Thit (NLD; Padaung), who sub­mit­ted the pro­posal.

Measures are par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant while hopes for the new gov­ern­ment are high, she said.

Na­tion­wide crime fig­ures rose slightly be­tween 2013 and 2014, she said. Mur­ders rose from 1307 to 1333, rapes from 734 to 741 and bur­glar­ies from 4671 to 5229, she said.

“And crime did not decline in 2015,” she said. “In Yangon alone, there were 191 mur­ders, 67 rob­beries, 92 rapes and 46 break-ins.”

She did not cite spe­cific na­tion­wide crime fig­ures for 2015.

In 2016, since the new gov­ern­ment took of­fice, mur­ders and rapes have not de­clined, she said. Traf­fic ac­ci­dents are also on the rise, she said.

Crim­i­nal­ity is driven by po­lit­i­cal, eco­nomic, so­cial and moral fac­tors, she said. Felonies, in­clud­ing drug cases, are the re­sult of a lack of peace and rule of law, she said. Hu­man-traf­fick­ing is on the rise due to law­less­ness in Myan­mar’s bor­der ar­eas and theft is ris­ing due to poverty, she said. Un­em­ploy­ment leads to a rise in gam­bling, she claimed. Weak moral stan­dards cause peo­ple to dis­re­gard traf­fic rules, she said, and that, in turn, causes more ac­ci­dents.

“It is the job of the po­lice to pro­tect the in­no­cent party and ar­rest the guilty party,” she said. “In Myan­mar, there is one po­lice of­fi­cer for every 1000 peo­ple. That is just one-third of the in­ter­na­tional norm.”

Il­le­gal tim­ber and drugs are reg­u­larly seized but po­lice still strug­gle to find and ar­rest the own­ers of the con­tra­band, she said.

Pyithu Hlut­taw MP Daw Khin San­dar (NLD; Laun­glon) sec­onded the pro­posal.

“If there is rule of law, crimes will be re­duced, so par­lia­ment, which is a leg­isla­tive body, should amend or abol­ish laws that are no longer ap­pro­pri­ate for the present day as soon as pos­si­ble. Par­lia­ment should also ex­pand ed­u­ca­tion about laws.”

The Pyithu Hlut­taw ac­cepted the pro­posal as there were no ob­jec­tions.

Photo: Kaung Htet

Po­lice of­fi­cers con­duct a night-time pa­trol ex­er­cise near Sule Pagoda in down­town Yangon in 2013.

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