Development of new crime prevention strategy gathers pace in Myanmar

Nay Pyi Taw (Myanmar), 23 March 2017
- Representatives from across Myanmar's security sector and relevant ministries have convened in Nay Pyi Taw to develop the first National Crime Prevention Strategy to combat crime in Myanmar. The workshop follows commitment by the Government of Myanmar and Myanmar Police Force to develop and implement a crime prevention strategy that will reduce crime and violence across the country while also contributing to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. UNODC is providing technical support to the Myanmar Police Force throughout this process.

A core focus of the First National Crime Prevention Strategy Consultation Workshop was to formulate crime prevention tactics that would be effective in, and consider, the current situation of political transition and accelerated development in the country. Accordingly, the draft National Crime Prevention Strategy was analysed and potential changes discussed. The strategy will undergo additional revisions before finalisation.

In his opening remarks Major General Zaw Win, Chief of the Myanmar Police Force, highlighted that due to Myanmar's political history, crime prevention efforts had fallen behind. "What we have been doing so far is not enough," stated Police Chief Win. He went on to remark that "drafting a national crime prevention policy is what we have been dreaming about for a long time," and thanked UNODC for their support in the process.

This understanding was met with recognition from Mr. Troels Vester, Country Manager of UNODC Myanmar Country Office. "We congratulate the Government of Myanmar for very fast action," he stated, highlighting that the government had already established a national commission on crime prevention in December, following the first workshop on the draft crime prevention strategy that was held in October 2016.

Mr. Stephen Otter, ex-Chief of the Devon and Cornwall Police and an expert in effective crime prevention strategies, explained to the workshop the importance of coordinated and evidence-based approaches and policy responses to crime. Mr. Otter presented his experience on employing effective methodologies to target crime on every level, but highlighted the importance of nurturing an image of approachability, and compliance with and protection of human rights in the police force.

The MPF expressed their commitment to the crime prevention process and to work collaboratively with other agencies to implement a strategy, recognising that Myanmar is in a position to learn from the global effort to tackle crime. "From individual to global level, we need to know crime prevention principles, and decide how to implement them in our country,", said Major General Zaw Win.

Click here to learn more about UNODC's Country Programme in Myanmar.