‘Service with a smile’
Nepal’s police force has been told to ‘cheer up’ after a rise in complaints about their rude and impolite manners.
A special smile squad has been deployed across the country which will see 600 trainers tasked with the job of making the authority figures friendlier.
Officially entitled ‘service with a smile’, the project hopes to connect the public with the police and help make them feel safe when there is an authoritative presence, rather than worried.
In recent years, police officers have been accused of using overly brutal force and heavy-handed tactics when dealing with civil unrest.
In 2013, several Maoist activists were arrested as a general strike brought Nepal to a virtual standstill amid violence aimed at disrupting the country’s elections.
However, the police targeted with this latest initiative are likely to be more ‘community’ based professionals than specialising in riots.
The hundreds of trainers have been deployed in all 75 districts to train personnel, said Nepal police spokesman KC Ganesh.
“It's so that they can appear to be in a friendlier, more humble and polite manner,” he said.
More than 27million people currently live in the South Asian country, with up to 67,000 residents employed in the police force.
Last year, the country’s police force once again gathered international media attention after the organisation introduced yoga sessions in an attempt to ‘slim down the force’.
In the eastern district of Jhapa in April 2013, more than 70 officers and constables were enrolled in a three-week yoga camp to tackle their ‘big bellies’.
Senior Superintendent Keshari Raj Ghimire told the BBC: “I ordered the officers and the constables who have large bellies to join this camp.”