By Myint Win Thein
THE recent, tragic murder of a police officer on duty in Yangon Region has highlighted shortcomings and inefficiencies of the Myanmar Police Force that undermine public trust in those meant to protect the community.
At the time of his murder, the officer had been investigating a rape case in Insein Township which perhaps could have been prevented by police patrols.
The officer appeared to have been collecting clues about the case when a suspected rapist attacked him with a sword. Alone and apparently with no means of protecting himself, the officer died of sword wounds.
The incident shows that the Myanmar Police Force is understaffed and incapable of providing public security or even protecting its own officers. These factors contribute to people feeling less safe in Yangon than in the past.
Yangon is the biggest city in Myanmar and its population is growing rapidly due to urban migration. As a result, crime has become rampant.
How can an inefficient police force cope with criminal activities like rape, murder, robbery and extortion?
The Myanmar Police Force should be expanded and its capacity enhanced as soon as possible to combat crime in the future megacity. Failure to do so will create a public security nightmare for city dwellers.