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Rakhine police struggling to cope, says police chief

“We have only 2,993 police officers in Rakhine State,” said Pol. Col. Aung Myat Moe at a press conference in Sittwe on 14 February 2018. (DVB)

The chief of police in Rakhine State said yesterday that his 3,000 officers are struggling to cope with the growing number of responsibilities that have been placed in their hands.

“We have only 2,993 police officers in Rakhine State,” Pol. Col. Aung Myat Moe said at yesterday’s press conference in Sittwe. “The population of the state is over 3.1 million people. Therefore, each police officer is responsible for the security of 1,038 people. In practice, it is not feasible for a police officer who has only two eyes to protect more than a thousand people.”

Aung Myat Moe was speaking publicly following criticisms leveled at the Rakhine police force for its heavy presence during the recent trials of politician Aye Maung and writer Wai Hin Aung.

The Rakhine police chief said on 14 February that his understaffed police force is “in a tight situation” as it must assume responsibility for a variety of duties, including: providing a security presence at court proceedings; guarding banks; and providing security during the recent visits of senior government officials and foreign diplomats.

“You [the public] are welcome to file a complaint against any police officer if you feel you are treated unfairly or rudely,” Aung Myat Moe said.