Yangon Police force

Police of Yangon

Burmese police block demonstrators in Bahan Township, Yangon. Cops burn confiscated drugs in Yangon in June. Establishing a better police force Myanmar police are undermanned, unoccupied and unpopular, but there are projects to enhance their reputation through better education in a collaborative effort with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime. It is a frequent occurrence in films: the scared residents of a building realize that there is an invader on the area.

Call the police, who is quickly at the crime site, and apprehend the thug. Related scenes were usual in government-friendly films in Myanmar, but not in reality. Myanmar's police have long been shrouded in reputations of bribery and cruelty. They were horrified to see the police beat demonstrators on Letpadan just over a year ago.

It' s well known that people are often attacked after they are detained. Sexproofed sexual assaults of sexual labourers, gays and transsexuals were committed at police posts, and there were events in which the police were curious to interfere in events such as the March 2013 at Meiktila, where local authority brutality was raging.

"Myanmar's police caliber is the smallest in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, let alone at the global level," said an MPF official who took part in a $10 million European Union police reforms programme in the end of 2013 that involved education in mass managment and humanitarian law.

Following the entry into power of the National League for Democracy for the first 100 working day, it started a reforms initiatives focusing on the constitutional state and enhancing the MPF's reputation. "A police officer's work is trapped between two issues like a slice of flesh in a sandwich," said an MPF official who took part in the EU education programme and asked not to be called.

Recruits are trained for 24 consecutive week. It can be a daunting task for those who join the power to earn enough to earn a livelihood or help a household. "It' s hard to help a hostess with this money and make ends meet," said a member of the Rakhine state border police, who asked not to be called.

The police say that they sometimes have to pay their own living expenses to buy groceries for prisoners because the compensation granted by the authorities is inappropriate. Up to 2012, the federal administration has provided K30 per diem for groceries and drinking to prisoners in police detention. The police say that although the assignment was increased 16x to K480 and 82 pya per days for each prisoner in March 2012, it is still not enough.

While most inmates can depend on nutritional supplementation from family members, if this is not possible, the police often make sure they have enough to feed on at their own cost. MPF members' work load can be very high, as the forces are severely undermanned. In June 2014, the former administration said that the MPF had 74,165 employees and needed to be more than duplicated in order to meet internationally accepted police norms.

United Nations recommends a minimal level of 222 police officials per 100,000 inhabitants, which is about 1:450. Yangon region police commissioner, Police Brigadier-General Win Naing, was cited as saying that the relationship between police and the people in the country's largest town is 1:1,274. Wells within the MPF say the former administration tried to address the staff shortfall by giving out an illegal directive that imposes on each police department the requirement of recruiting rates on a month-by-month basis.

"A MPF officers said in an anonymous MPF statement in a public service broadcast that "the requirement for a police department to register a certain number of enlisted men every single week has led to too many unskilled individuals signing up to the force. Policemen who are under strain due to high work load and missing ressources can make errors.

When this happens, they face the possibility of tough measures because they can be penalised not only under the penal code, but also under police discipline laws founded on army discipline. The Tatmadaw not only exports its legal system to the MPF, but also deploys its troops with officials.

As a result, MPF officials are resentful because it is blocking their chances of advancement. Tatmadaw officers' immediate assignment to the MPF was resumed during the preceding administration of U Thein Sein. According to officials' records, at least 73 Tatmadaw officials have been promoted to the civil servant, four of whom were promoted to MPF management between 2011 and 2012.

Before its election to power, the Nazis had already pushed for MPF reforms and backed the education programme launched by the EU at the end of 2013. Major General Zaw Win, the head of the police, has admitted that the MPF has been criticised, even in cases where it used undue violence against demonstrators or watched violence at work.

Mr Zaw Win said police were criticized for not intervening in Meiktila when tens of lives were lost and tens of houses were burned down. Such errors need not be made again, he said at a May 21 ceremonial in the Yangon provincial administration office. At a joint MPF and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Nay Pyi Taw a few nights before, Zaw Win had declared a police education improvement plan.

Scheduled to last until December, the programme followed a common police education system overhaul. Besides the course outline, there were also suggestions for recruiting and resourceing. It foresees a five-year MPF reforms agenda to be completed by the end of the year.

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