Police Commissioner Abdulla Riyaz has said that a new department has been established to test police officers for urine and alcohol after media reports of police being drunk while on duty.
Riyaz said police officers will be randomly picked for the urine test and that police officers will always be tested to see if officers use any illegal drugs or alcohol.
Riyaz said this was to strengthen police professional standards and to increase public confidence in the police.
He told the press that this new policy was not established because there have been issues with the police, but to ensure all citizens that police officers on duty are there only for the safety of the citizens.
Riyaz said although this was new in the Maldives it had been done in other countries.
Earlier this month Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) Spokesperson Imthiyaz Fahmy alleged that many police officers in riot gear to control a MDP protest “were drunk” and some fell to the ground “while others were seen vomiting.”
Imthiyaz further alleged that police officers had forced MDP activists to drink alcohol.
A police official told Minivan News that time the accusations were baseless: ”It would be better to report these allegations to the Police Integrity Commission (PIC) or some other independent institution to investigate, rather than making false accusations,” the police spokesperson said.
Recently police arrested 13 people after clashing with demonstrators at the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)’s ongoing protest.
MDP supporters alleged that police officers were drunk and were very violent that night. Several protesters alleged that police officers stabbed them and that officers were armed with small bayonet knives.