Police guidelines dictate that Mon State should have 3,186 officers policing its 10 townships, but the state currently hosts roughly half that number. With such a high ratio of population to police, the state’s 1,612 police officers are stretched thin, according to the state’s Minister of Security and Border Affairs, Colonel Win Naing Oo.
Speaking before the Mon State Hluttaw (parliament), the minister said that those 1,612 officers currently serve the entire population of the state, which as of this month numbers some 2.1 million residents. They are spread between an office of the state police commander, two district police offices, 10 township police offices, 10 city police stations, 10 area police Stations and 28 police outpost.
“The police to population ratio in Mon State is 1:1,333. That means that each officer is effectively responsible for maintaining security and rule of law for 1,333 people,” Colonel Win Naing Oo said.
In addition to the 1,612 regular police in the state, there are also 65 traffic police spread between five townships. That number also represents a sharp discount from the 95 traffic officers the state should have.
Colonel Win Naing Oo testified in front of the Hluttaw on March 24 in response to questions from Daw Kyi Kyi Mya, the state representative for Chaungzone Townnship constituency-2. She asked the Minister whether additional traffic police would be deployed to her township after the bridge connecting it to the state capital Mawlamyine is completed.
The Myanmar Times reported in 2016 that the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs said that the country had 76,964 police officers in full service. Speaking before the Union Hluttaw in August of that year, the minister said that the ratio of police to civilians for the country is 1:1191, well below the 1:222 recommended by the United Nations.