Maldives Police Service to establish Law Enforcement Institute

The Maldives Police Service (MPS) has said it soon expects to open a Law Enforcement Institute in Male’, providing officers with opportunities for further education up to degree-level.

Police Commissioner Abdulla Riyaz, speaking during a speech at the certificate awarding ceremony of the 21st Police Recruit Training Course, discussed ongoing plans to establish a career path in law enforcement.  He claimed the institute, to this end, would aim to provide officers with the opportunity to complete studies up to First Degree Level.

Speaking to Minivan News today, Police Sub-Inspector Hassan Haneef said that the establishment of a Law Enforcement Institute in Male’ had been a long-term plan for the institution.  The institute is expected to to be officially opened soon, he added, with the MPS planning additionally to open up the courses to interested members of the public as well.

According to a release on the official MPS website, Commissioner Riyaz also spoke of the importance of all officers speaking to members of the general public with due respect.

Riyaz also said that the country was now in a politically sensitive period after having recently come through a lot of social and political changes, and that it was the responsibility of the police to maintain the nation’s unity. He added that completely new offences were now being committed in the country – particularly at a time when crime rates were at a record high.

Riyaz said that police were also facing challenges due to instances where officers, in trying to maintain peace, were being obstructed and harassed in the course of their work. He also claimed that police officers faced physical harm and even death due to such actions.

The comments were made as the role of the police force in the Maldives, particularly during February’s controversial transfer of power, faces scrutiny from institutions including the Police Integrity Commission (PIC) and the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM).

Earlier this week, the HRCM claimed a police crackdown on a Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) march across Male’ on February 8, which left dozens of demonstrators injured was “brutal” and “without prior warning,” in an investigative report (Dhivehi) released to the public.

The Police Integrity Commission (PIC) has meanwhile stated its own intention to release findings from ongoing investigations into alleged breach of laws and regulations by officers during the lead up to and in the direct aftermath of February’s controversial transfer of power.