Minister calls for more police weaponry
POLICE have permission to shoot if they are under attack, according to Yangon Region Minister for Security and Border Affairs Colonel Tin Aung Tun, who called for officers to be more fully armed.
Speaking to the regional hluttaw yesterday he said police are combating increasingly violent crime, but have insufficient weaponry. He added that some officers have been killed or injured while on duty.
In September 2015, two police officers were killed when trying to arrest a fugitive in Thanlyin township.
“The government gave all patrol officers taser guns for protection against criminals on September 24, 2015,” said Col Tin Aung Tun.
The government is trying to support the police by getting all officers fully equipped, he added.
Officers assigned to zones controlled by ethnic armed groups are issued automatic firearms by the Tatmadaw, the Pyithu Hluttaw was told last year. The deputy home affairs minister said at the time that out of desperation some officers had taken to carrying swords to protect themselves.
MPs approved a proposal from U Yan Aung (NLD; Mingalar Taung Nyunt), urging the appropriate departments to provide equipment, increase staff, and improve housing for the police, judiciary, and government lawyers.
Additionally, the government wants to install closed circuit television cameras on every lamppost across the Yangon Region, he said.
The government is implementing a security plan across eight townships at the moment but, Col Tin Aung Tun acknowledged, it has not been 100 percent successful in reducing criminal cases.
MP U Kyaw Kyaw Tun (NLD; Hlaing) said that criminal cases are taking a long time to get through the courts, noting that each judge is handling 100 to 150 cases.
“The courts, law offices, and police stations are old and faded,” he said. “The government should plan for them in the budget.”
MP U Myint Lwin (NLD; North Okkalapa) advised the regional government to increase the number of police and build standard housing for the judges and law office staff.
Col Tin Aung Tun and Attorney General U Han Htoo responded that they are still scheduled to build housing and repair courts and police stations through next fiscal year.