Eight in 10 Afghans think police weak

2012-01-31 18:22

Kabul - Eight in 10 Afghans do not believe their police force is ready to take charge of law and order, a United Nations report showed on Tuesday, underscoring worries about the pace of transition to Afghan security control.

While many Afghans say they think crime has decreased, citizens are still worried about the reach of the Taliban insurgency, and many are alienated from the police, seeing them as drug-affected, corrupt or biased, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) survey showed.

Foreign police advisers and soldiers, as well as conducting anti-insurgent operations, are training Afghan recruits and are already handing over security responsibility for some areas ahead of a 2014 deadline for the withdrawal of foreign forces.

"Looking to the future, two in 10 Afghans think the ANP is ready now to take over all policing responsibilities from international forces," the UNDP said in the 'Police Perception Survey 2011".

"Considerable work remains," the report concluded, pointing to the huge task still facing western advisers over the next three years as they try to build the skills and professionalism of the relatively newly formed Afghan National Police, or ANP.

"Despite some signs of improvement, corruption remains a significant concern; so do a range of other forms of police misconduct, including excessive physical force, drug-taking, perceived bias and disrespectful treatment."

More than a quarter of the 7 000-plus people surveyed said they or a household member had seen an ANP member using drugs - an increase on 2010 - while 18% said they or a household member had been asked for a bribe by a police officer.

Over half of those surveyed said they believed police were loyal to their clan - in a country long splintered by tribal and ethnic rivalries - and the majority thought filing a complaint against an officer would not help.

"Each of these raises the spectre of alienation from the force," the UNDP said.

The UNDP report pointed to some encouraging improvements, include Afghan perceptions of how much crime was committed in their neighbourhoods.

"Nearly half of Afghans say crime in their area has declined in the past year, up by 6 points from last year, and 52% say they live in a 'low crime' area," it said.

Still, ratings of security from violence generally, and from the Taliban in particular, had slipped in the past year, in what the UNDP admitted was a "troubling sign" for international forces working to counter the insurgency.

Additionally, seven in 10 Afghans said they were likelier to report a crime to a policewoman than they would to a male officer, even though only 53% thought it was a good idea to have female officers in their community.

Despite the presence of more than 100 000 foreign troops, violence across Afghanistan remains at its worst levels since the Taliban were toppled by US-backed Afghan forces in late 2001, according to the United Nations.

The Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) says levels of violence are falling, but its statistics do not include attacks on civilians.

Read more on:    nato  |  isaf  |  afghanistan

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


ANC set for two-thirds majority - poll

The ANC is on course to win nearly a two-thirds majority in 7 May elections, a poll has showed, confounding analysts who had predicted a fall in support for the ruling party.


Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

DSTV Mobile iDrifta

The iDrifta is a plug and play mobile DVB-H receiver...

From R445.00

I'm shopping for:


You may be good at organising events but they do take their toll on your energy levels. You may need some time out today just to...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.