Staff Correspondent: A specialized unit of Bangladesh Police is ‘Tourist Police’. This unit was launched on December 30, 2013 for the safety of tourists and development of the tourism industry. After nine years of formation, the concerned people indicated the change of name. At the same time, there is a change in the uniform of this specialized unit. The scope of work is increasing and the manpower is also increasing.
According to the tourist police headquarters, there are more than seven hundred tourist centers in Bangladesh, including Cox’s Bazar, the world’s longest beach. According to the calculations of the Tourism Corporation, 6 million local and foreign tourists travel to these tourist areas every year. Tourist
Police started its journey with 699 members and officers at the time of establishment.
Operational work started from 2015.
Tourist police activities are spread across 36 districts of the country. The number of manpower is now 1256 people. Tourist police hotline number is 01320-163599 for any contact regarding urgent needs or tourism issues. Besides, there are apps called ‘Hello Tourist’. Tourists are assisted through apps regarding various facilities.
According to sources, some steps have been taken to advance the activities of Tourist Police. Name change is one of them. The name is going to be changed from Tourist Police to ‘Tourism Police’. New uniforms are coming for this force as the tourist police uniforms are very similar to the district police. With increasing the scope of work and the special security of local and foreign tourists, the manpower is going to increase.
20 tourist spots that attract domestic and foreign tourists the most. Out of this only about 1.5 million tourists travel to Cox’s Bazar every year. There are only 40 tourist police personnel for such a large number of tourists. Although there is traffic of tourists at all points of Cox’s Bazar sea beach including Kalatali, Sugandha, C-Beach, Labani, Inani Beach, the issue of security remains at the level of concern due to manpower shortage. The same is the case in all the important and popular tourist spots of the country.
The Tourist Police is involved in various activities including protection from destruction of tourist resources, prevention of theft of antiquities, stopping sexual harassment in tourist attraction areas, prevention of fraud and terrorist activities, ensuring the safety of domestic and foreign tourists, protecting tourists from accidents, evacuating illegal structures in tourist areas.
Currently, the activities of tourist police are spread in 36 districts in 11 regions of the country. The tourist police strength is now 1256 people. Cox’s Bazar, Teknaf, Kuakata, Sylhet’s Jaflong, Bisthakandi, Madhavakunda, Bangabandhu Safari Park, Gopalganj’s Tungipara, Sundarbans, National Zoo, Naogaon and Bogra districts have more tourist policemen and activities in these districts.
Tourist Police Superintendent of Police (Media) MA Halim said that there is a change in the tourist police uniform. Because the tourist police uniform matches with the district police. That’s why tourist police work but it is called district police. Four to five uniform designs are initially selected. Not finalized yet. But may be final soon.
When asked about the increase in manpower, Acting Tourist Police Chief DIG Md. Ilyas Sharif told that the number of domestic and foreign tourists in our country is increasing day by day. For this reason, I wrote a letter to the Ministry of Home Affairs to increase manpower. The letter went from the Ministry of Home Affairs to the Ministry of Public Administration. Hope the manpower of tourist police will increase soon. As a result, it will be possible to provide comprehensive services and ensure security to tourists.
When asked about the name change, an unnamed AIG (Assistant Inspector General) official of the Police Headquarters told that recently the IGP decided to change the name of Tourist Police in a meeting. The new name may be Tourism Police.
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