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Law enforcement in Bhutan: Wikis


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The Royal Bhutan Police is the national police of Bhutan, responsible for maintaining law and order and prevention of crime.[1] It was instituted on 1 September, 1965 with 555 personnel reassigned from the Royal Bhutan Army. It was then called the Bhutan Frontier Guards.

The police is headed by the Chief of Police under whom there are commissioned officers, noncommissioned officers and constables. The salient feature of the Royal Bhutan Police is that there is no corruption reported tilldate and it is probably the only police organization free of corruption in the whole of south Asia region.

The Royal Bhutan Police was established with personnel reassigned from the army on September 1, 1965, a day thereafter marked as Police Day throughout Bhutan. Starting with only a few hundred personnel in 1965, by the late 1970s the force had more than 1,000 constables and officers. Recruits--grade six graduates and above--were trained at the Police Training Centre in Zilnon Namgyeling, Thimphu District, and, after 1981, at a police training center in Jigmiling, Geylegphug District. The curriculum consisted of weapons training, tae kwon do, physical training with and without arms, law, simple investigation techniques, "turn-out drill," check-post duties, traffic control, public relations, and driglam namzha. Recruits were also trained for other unspecified duties and to escort important visitors.[2]

Since the establishment of the police force in 1965, Indian police advisers and instructors have been used. Starting in 1975, Bhutanese instructors, trained in India for one year, began training recruits at the Zilnon Namgyeling Police Training Centre. Advanced training for selected police officers in fields such as criminology, traffic control, and canine corps has taken place in India and other countries. In 1988, following specialized training in India, a female second lieutenant established a fingerprint bureau in Thimphu. Besides having access to training at the Indian Police Academy in Hyderabad, some students were also sent to the Police Executive Development Course in Singapore.[2]

Besides performing their standard police functions, members of the Royal Bhutan Police also served as border guards and firefighters and provided first aid. In 1975, in response to the increased number of traffic accidents resulting from the development of roads and the increase number of motor vehicles, the police established an experimental mobile traffic court staff with Royal Bhutan Police personnel and a judicial official to make on-the-spot legal decisions.[2]

Organizationally subordinate to the Royal Bhutan Army, the Royal Bhutan Police in 1991 was under the command of Major General Lam Dorji, who was also chief of operations of the army, under the title inspector general or commandant. There were police headquarters in each district and subdistrict.[2]


  1. ^ "Article 27, The Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan". Retrieved 2008-11-02.  
  2. ^ a b c d Worden, Robert L. "Law enforcement". A Country Study: Bhutan (Andrea Matles Savada, editor). Library of Congress Federal Research Division (September 1991). This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.


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