|Communcal polices visit a resident's house. Communal police is facing low wages and a shortage of supportive policies to encourage them to continue their jobs. — Photo thanhnien.com.vn
HA NOI (VNS) — Communal police, who are often the first to respond to criminal incidents in remote areas, are facing low wages and a shortage of supportive policies to encourage them to continue their jobs, a senior official of the Ministry of Public Security said.
Colonel Nguyen Viet Phu, head of the ministry's communal police management unit said that more than 134,000 police are working in communes in rural areas, directly handling up to 80 per cent of criminal incidents in their localities.
However, many are trying to transfer out of their positions or even switch jobs as work benefits are inadequate compared to their dangerous job.
The monthly income of most communal police is VND690,000 (US$30.6). The deputy head of communal police is a little bit better paid – about VND1.1 million ($48.8).
"This is such a low amount of money for them. When the income is not enough for daily expenses, they'll feel unmotivated to devote to their job," he said.
Moreover, communal police, apart from the head of the team, have not been given supportive policies such as health and social insurance. The financial support for those who get injured or die while on duty is insufficient, he said.
Phu said that police who got injured or died when stopping drivers without helmets or made a raid on gambling dens would not be recognised as martyrs or invalids and be given financial assistance for treatment.
Figures from 61 cities and provinces nation-wide showed that 55 communal police reportedly died and more than 420 injured while on duty since 2009.
Of which, only 35 was recognised as martyr and 130 others invalids who got monthly financial support of several hundreds of thousands of dong accordingly.
Chau Thuoc Anh, a communal police in southernmost Ca Mau Province, had his arm stabbed when trying to catch a thief in Tan Hung Dong Commune last December. With the support of a comrade, the thief was arrested, but Anh fainted and was hospitalised for treatment.
Truong Minh Can, head of the communal police said that the injury has caused difficulties for Anh. The unit has built up a file to require authorised agencies to approve financial support for Anh, but has not received replies.
The cost of the hospital fee was roughly VND10 million ($440), he added.
Colonel Tran Van Day, head of the PV28 Department of central Khanh Hoa Province said that since 1975, only two cases of deaths and one case of injury have received financial support.
A shortage of working tools is another problem. As regulated, communal police are only equipped with a rubber stick and a plastic whistle.
Lieutenant colonel Pham Tien Luong, deputy head of Hau Loc District Police Department in central Thanh Hoa Province said that this was ineffective and dangerous for communal police to approach criminals, who always had weapons such as knives or guns.
According to Phu, it was necessary to increase the income of police by allowing them to hold other positions. Regulations on those who devoted to the nation would be changed to make it easy for injured communal police to get support. — VNS