Min­istry calls for po­lice bud­get boost

The Myanmar Times - - News - HTOO THANT thanhtoo@mm­times.com

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

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