Ministry calls for police budget boost
THE Myanmar Police Force needs to expand, says the Ministry of Home Affairs, as the current police-to-public ratio falls well below international norms.
Speaking in parliament last week, Deputy Minister for Home Affairs Major General Aung Soe said that for Myanmar’s population of some 51.4 million, just 76,964 police officers are currently in full service.
This figure represents about 46.25 percent of the total police force. Myanmar’s police-to-public ratio sits at around 1:1191, he said – a far cry from the UN-recommended minimum of 222 officers for every 100,000 citizens, a ratio of 1:450.
Prior to 2012, the total police force was 121,613. By March this year, this had increased to 166,404, he said, explaining that the police force has been upgraded in stages. Training schools in regions and states have recruited new members, but more are needed.
As well as being chronically understaffed, Maj Gen Aung Soe said the police force is under-resourced. He said in many cases police stations had inadequate security equipment and lacked patrol vehicles – a significant impediment to the force’s ability to effectively tackle crime.
Crime rates are reportedly rising in densely populated urban areas, particularly Yangon, Ayeyarwady and Sagaing regions, he said.
– Translation by Zar Zar Soe