Recognise tourist police

 

The nation’s tourist police have asked the Home Ministry and Police Headquarters to recognise their role in writing in the Nepal Police Regulations.

“The role of the tourist police has not been defined and we are facing difficulties while dealing with different tourism-related issues,” said Arjun Kumar Timilsina, Police Inspector of the Tourist Police Department (TPD) at the Tourism Board.

The TPD sent a letter to the Nepal Police last week asking that their department be included and their role defined under Section 3 of the Nepal Police Regulation. “If not under the Nepal Police, our duties and rights must be secured at least under the Tourism Ministry,” said Timilsina. Timilsina also stated that whereas the Traffic Police, Community Police, and Armed Police Force (APF) were all recognised by concerned parties, recognition had not been given to the tourist police.

Raju KC, Sub-Inspector at the TPD stated that the tourist police must also be given complete authority to deal with tourists visiting the country. “ Right now, we only make reports of cases filed by tourists and send them to the District Police Office, which is a problem for the visiting tourists,” KC said, adding “ A special court to deal with tourists would also speed up the amount of time spend deliberating such cases.”

The tourist police was established three decades ago with the aim of referring cases filed by tourist to the District Police Office. However, KC claimed, “The situation is not like it was earlier. The inflow of tourists has increased, and with this, the number of cases.”

Meanwhile, Deputy Inspector General Bigyan Raj Sharma, spokesperson of the Nepal Police, said that the Police Headquarters was in the process of creating recognition for the tourist police. “We are working on defining the role of the tourist police. It has to go through ministry, cabinet, and parliament, however, before we can include it to our regulations,” Sharma said.

There are presently 38 tourist police for the 500,000 tourists who in the country. The tourist police have it that at least 600 cases are registered every year, of which approximately 80 percent of cases are theft and robbery.

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