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Burma’s police strive to be more people-friendly

In an effort to improve relations between the police and the public, the European Union (EU) will provide further training to the Myanmar [Burma] Police Force (MPF).

To showcase the police’s commitment to engaging the public, an open day was launched in Rangoon’s Mingalar Taungnyunt Township on Sunday. Members of the public could talk to police in each division and find out more about police operations in their area.

Rangoon Division’s Police Superintendent, Police Major Myint Htwe, announced that more battalions across the country would be trained in crowd control measures by the EU.

“The EU has worked out schedules to provide crowd control training to police battalions in administrative regions across the country. Training for Rangoon Division Police will begin in June,” he said.

Myint Htwe went on to say that more than 3,000 officers from the MPF have already completed training, which started in February.

The next phase will be to set up community policing courses and give educational talks in schools on drug abuse and human trafficking,

As well as training courses, the EU is providing equipment such as bicycles, helmets and reflective gear.

“The EU is regularly providing courses and we are to collaborate with them for 18 months. Afterwards, we will continue the courses with those who completed the Training of Trainers [ToT] course,” Myint Htwe said.

The training is part of an effort to re-shape the police’s image and appear more people-friendly.

But recently, police have been involved in a series of incidents involving excessive force, including an alleged attack on protestors who were demonstrating against a land confiscation in Thegone village-tract, Pegu Division on 15 May. Two people were seriously injured.