11 Apr 2015

Burmese cops take lessons from UK on community policing

Police in Burma are trying to shake off their reputation for corruption and brutality with the help of a former policeman from Northern Ireland.

Ex-officer David Hamilton was among trainers hired by the EU to help improve Burma’s feared police force as the country moves towards democracy.

Officers in the largest city Yangon have been learning basic community policing techniques, going on foot and bike patrols and chatting to local residents.

The country’s law enforcement services have an unenviable reputation for dishing out violence to the country’s Muslim minority and student protesters among others.

Some victims of brutality, and international human rights activists, are sceptical about the EU project.

Mr Hamilton defended decision to try to educate Burma’s police, saying: “We need to do more. To leave them on their own would not serve any purpose whatsover.”