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Law enforcement in Bangladesh

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Law enforcement in Bangladesh

Bangladesh Police
বাংলাদেশ পুলিশ
Common name পুলিশ (Police)
Abbreviation BP
Patch of Bangladesh Police
Logo of Bangladesh Police
Motto শৃঙ্খলা নিরাপত্তা প্রগতি
Discipline Security Progress
Agency overview
Employees 141,123[1]
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Federal agency Bangladesh
Map of Bangladesh Police's jurisdiction.
Size 147,570 km2 (56,977 sq mi)
Population 162,221,000[2]
Constituting instrument The Police Act, 1861
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters 6, Phoenix Road, Fulbaria, Dhaka - 1000
Agency executive Hassan Mahmood Khandker, BPM, PPM, ndc, Inspector General of Police
Stations 615
Police Website

The Bangladesh Police (Bengali: বাংলাদেশ পুলিশ ) is the main law enforcement agency of Bangladesh. It is administered under the Ministry of Home Affairs[3] of the Government of Bangladesh. It plays a crucial role in maintaining peace, and enforcement of law and order within Bangladesh. Though the police are primarily concerned with the maintenance of law and order and security of persons and property of individuals, they also play a big role in the criminal justice system.


Ancient period

The main sources of the Bangladesh Police force's history come from Manushanghita, which are the hieroglyphics of Emperor Ashoka, and the stories of renowned travellers. In Orthoshastra by Koutilla, nine types of spies are mentioned. During that period, policing was confined in the efforts of collecting intelligence in order to curb anti-governmental activities, and to maintain law and order in the society. The duties of spies were varied, such as conducting surveillance over the activities of ministers, civil, and military officials, for which, different means of temptations and instigations were used.[4]

Medieval period

Details of policing activities during the middle age are also challenging to find. However, during the periods of the great sultans, an official holding the position of Muhtasib used to perform the duties of policing. This person was the chief of police, in charge of public works, and the inspector of public ethics simultaneously. In urban areas, Kotwals were responsible for performing police duties. The policing system introduced by Sher Shah Suri was further organized during the period of Emperor Akbar: the Emperor organized his administrative structure introducing Fouzdari (the principal representative of the Emperor), Mir Adal and Kazi (the head of judicial department), and Kotwal (the chief police official of larger cities). This system was effective in maintaining the law and order in cities, and was implemented in Dhaka. Many district sadar police stations are still called Kotwali police stations. In the Mughal period, Kotwal emerged as an institution.

A Fouzdar was appointed to every administrative unit of the government (district), under whom there were some artillery and cavalry forces. There was a disciplined police system during the Mughal period, though there was no professional police force like that in the British period. It has been opined that there was a remarkable development in the maintenance of law and order and criminal administration during the reign of the Muslim rulers.[4]

British period

In the early stage of the Industrial Revolution, when England was facing grave crisis due to socio-economic transformation, the necessity of an effective organised police service was keenly felt. Sir Robert Peel, then the Prime Minister, introduced a bill in the British Parliament in 1829 which created an organised civil police in London. The success of the London police in controlling social disorder and crime was admired by not only the people of England but also of European and American countries: New York city copied the London model with some modifications when it organised the first Municipal Police Force, in 1833.[5]

In 1858, full control of the Indian Territory was taken over from the East India Company by the British government. The success of the London police organised under Peel's Act of 1829 prompted the British government to reform the police system in the sub-continent in a similar way to British constabularies. With this end in view, a police commissioner was set up 1840, and on the recommendation of the commission of the Police Act (Act V of 1861), was passed by the British Parliament. Under this Act a police force was created in each province of British India, and placed under the control of the provincial government. The administration of the police force of a province was vested upon an officer styled as the Inspector-general of police. The administration of the police in a district was placed under the Superintendentof Police. The Act is still in force throughout the sub-continent, and regulates the function of police in Bangladesh, as well as the other countries of the sub-continent.[5]

Pakistan period

After partition of the sub-continent in 1947, the police force in Bangladesh was first named as the East Bengal Police, and then as the East Pakistan Police; however, it continued to function on the same lines as during the British rule.[4]

Role in Liberation War

In the Bangladesh Liberation War, Bengali-speaking police officers participated with the citizens, leading to deaths from most ranks, fighting with .303 rifles against the Pakistani. The resistance by the Bengali members of police at Rajarbagh is considered the first chapter of armed struggles during the War of Independence.

Mahbubuddin Ahmed, Bir Bikram, the Sub-Divisional Police Officer of Jhenaidah at that time, led the guard of honour given to the members of the Mujibnagar Cabinet when the provisional Government of Bangladesh took oath on 17 April 1971, during the liberation war.[6]

Bangladesh period

After the emergence of Bangladesh as an independent country on 16 December 1971, the police force was recognized and assumed the role of a national police force. At present, Bangladesh Police is primarily responsible for the preservation of peace and order, protection of life and property of the people and prevention and detection of crime. The traditional role of police in Bangladesh has undergone change after the liberation: the role of police is no longer confined to maintenance of law and order and prevention and detection of crime, and to meet the need of an independent and developing country, the police are now required to assist in developing the state and such kinds of activities by providing the basic security required for sustained economic growth of the country. It is further playing a vital role in dealing with insurgency in some areas of the country which impedes development activities and threatens the security of the state.[5]


Bangladesh Police is headed by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), under whose command, Bangladesh Police is divided into different branches.


Range and District Police

Outside the Dhaka region, and other metropolitan cities, police is organised into Police Ranges, which are headed by a Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), who control several Police Districts. At present, there are seven Police Ranges in seven administrative divisions and two Police Ranges for railways and highways.

Each Police Range maintains its own Range Reserve Force (RRF) and district police also maintains its own Special Armed Force (SAF) which is responsible for emergencies and crowd control issues. They are generally activated only on orders from the Superintendent of Police, and higher-level authorities. The armed constabulary do not usually come into contact with the general public unless they are assigned to VIP duty or to maintain order during fairs, festivals, athletic events, elections, and natural disasters. They may additionally be sent to quell outbreaks of unrest, organized crime, and communal riots; to maintain key guard posts; and to participate in anti-terrorist operations.

Names of the Police Ranges in seven administrative divisions are:

Sl. No Name of the Police Range-7+2=9
1 Dhaka Range
2 Chittagong Range
3 Khulna Range
4 Rajshahi Range
5 Sylhet Range
6 Barisal Range
7 Rangpur Range

Another two Police Ranges are:

Sl. No Name of the Police Range
8 Railway Range
9 Highway Range

Metropolitan Police

In addition to the police ranges, major cities have police forces which follow the Police Commissionerate System. The Chief of the Metropolitan Police is the Police Commissioner. Created in 1976, the Dhaka Metropolitan Police is charged with maintaining security and order in the national capital and neighbouring areas. Later five other metropolitan police were formed in other large cities.

Names of the Metropolitan Police are:

Sl. No Name of the Metropolitan Police-6
1 Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP)
2 Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP)
3 Khulna Metropolitan Police (KMP)
4 Rajshahi Metropolitan Police (RMP)
5 Sylhet Metropolitan Police (SMP)
6 Barisal Metropolitan Police (BMP)

Detective Branch (DB)

Detective Branch (DB) is the specialized branch of a police unit. Every metropolitan police and district police has its own Detective Branch.


SWAT ('Special Weapons And Tactics') is an elite tactical unit of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police which was established on February 28, 2009. SWAT (Bangladesh) operates under the Detective Branch of Dhaka Metropolitan Police. SWAT unit has sophisticated weapons and equipment and they are trained both in Bangladesh and abroad. They are called in emergency need and in crisis management like terrorist attacks, hostage rescue situations, etc.

Traffic Police

Traffic Police in the small towns come under the district police, but in the cities, the Traffic Police come under the metropolitan police. The Traffic Police are responsible for maintaining the flow of traffic, and stopping offenders in the city or town.

Special Branch (SB)

The Special Branch was established to assist in maintaining national security and also performs the functions of intelligence-gathering and counter intelligence.[7]

Immigration Police

The purpose of the Immigration Service is to provide immigration related service and security. The immigration service is provided by Special Branch.[8]

Criminal Investigation Department (CID)

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) is a special unit of Bangladesh Police responsible for carrying out investigations into crimes grievous in nature, including terrorism, murders and organized crime, and also gives forensic support to law enforcing agencies. It is headquartered in Malibagh, Dhaka, and maintains two training schools named the Detective Training School and the Forensic Training Institute. A new training institute will be started very soon for increasing the capacity of controlling the cyber crime in the country.

Railway Police (GRP)

The Railway Police is responsible for law enforcement on the Bangladesh railways, and additionally handling railway accidents. Under the command of Deputy Inspector General Railway Police Range has two Railway Districts, which are Syedpur and Chittagong, each headed by a Superintendent of Railway Police (SRP).

Highway Police

To make the highways safer and to ensure smooth traffic management system, the government realized the necessity of Highway Police. In 2005, the Highway Police were formed.[9] Under the Deputy Inspector General (Highway Police), the Highway Police Range has two Highway Police wings: the Eastern Wing, headquartered in Comilla, and the Western Wing, headquartered in Bogra. Both are headed by a Superintendent of Police.

Industrial Police

To keep the law and order, the Industrial Police was created on 31 October 2010.

The Industrial Police work at four zones:

Sl. No Unit Location
1 Industrial Police - 1 Ashulia, Dhaka
2 Industrial Police - 2 Gazipur
3 Industrial Police - 3 Chittagong
4 Industrial Police - 4 Narayanganj

Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI)

To concentrate only in Crime Investigation; a new investigation agency of Bangladesh Police, “Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI)”; equipped with the latest technology to detect crime has formed in 2012.

Special Security and Protection Battalion (SPBn)

In 2012, one of the specialized force of Bangladesh Police, the Special Security and Protection Battalion, was raised to provide security to the head of the state, head of the government and other visiting VIPs. This force is headed by a Detective Inspector General. Primarily, this force contains two protection battalions,with plans to expand the force in the future.

Armed Police Battalion (APBn)

There are eleven Armed Police Battalions in the Bangladesh police force, which are located in different parts of Bangladesh, of which, one is a female battalion. The Chief of APBn is Additional Inspector General.

The locations of the different Armed Police Battalions are:

Sl. No Battalion Location
1 1st Armed Police Battalion Uttara, Dhaka
2 2nd Armed Police Battalion Muktagachha, Mymensingh
3 3rd Armed Police Battalion Khulna
4 4th Armed Police Battalion Bogra
5 5th Armed Police Battalion Uttara, Dhaka
6 6th Armed Police Battalion Mohalchori, Khagrachari
7 7th Armed Police Battalion Ashulia, Dhaka
8 8th Armed Police Battalion Sylhet (Presently deployed in Dhaka Airport)
9 9th Armed Police Battalion Chittagong
10 10th Armed Police Battalion Barisal
11 11th Armed Police Battalion (Female) Uttara, Dhaka
Airport Armed Police (AAP)

The Airport Armed Police are a specialized unit of the Armed Police Battalion, the Airport Armed Police (AAP) are deployed in the international airports of Bangladesh, for purposes of maintaining security in the airports.

Rapid Action Battalion (RAB)

In 2004, the elite force of Bangladesh Police, the Rapid Action Battalion was raised, consisting of the personnel of the Bangladesh Police, Bangladesh Army, Bangladesh Navy, Bangladesh Air Force, Border Guard Bangladesh, and Bangladesh Ansar. It works under the command of Inspector General of Police.[10]

Tourist Police

In 2009 Tourist Police was formed to protect local and foreign tourists, with the service being initiated at Cox's Bazar Sea Beach, a popular area with the world’s longest sandy beach. There are plans to expand the Tourist Police to work at other tourist spots.[11]

Police Internal Oversight (PIO)

The Police Internal Oversight (PIO), a specialized wing of the Bangladesh police, was set up in 2007, to monitor and collect intelligence about the activities of the police officers across the country. This force is headed by an Assistant Inspector General (AIG) at the Police Headquarters and directly reports to the Inspector General of Police (IGP). All the units of Bangladesh Police fall under the surveillance of PIO. PIO agents are spread all over the country under direct supervision of the PIO unit located in Police Headquarters.

River Police

The headquarters for the River Police is formed in a temporarily basis inside the Police headquarters under a Deputy Inspector General of Police.

Police Telecom and Information Management

The building of the unit is situated in Rajarbag. It is led by a Deputy Inspector General of Police. It maintains the communication system for Bangladesh Police through out the country.

Police units


Superior officers

Rank badge of superior officers

Bangladesh Police

IGP    Additional IGP    DIG    Additional DIG    SP    Additional SP    Senior ASP    ASP   

Subordinate officers

Rank Badge of Subordinate Officers

Inspector    SI    Sergeant    ASI    Naik    Constable   

Inspector General of Police

The Chief of Bangladesh Police is an Inspector General, which is the only three star rank of Bangladesh Police. This is a list of Inspector Generals of Police since 1971:

Name Period
A. Khaleque April 17, 1971 – April 23, 1973 (From Mujibnagar Government)
M. A. K. Chowdhury May 18, 1971 – December 13, 1971
A. Rahim April 23, 1973 – December 31, 1973
A. H. M. Nurul Islam December 31, 1973 – November 21, 1975
Hossain Ahmed November 21, 1975 – August 26, 1978
A. B. M. G. Kibria August 26, 1978 – February 7, 1982
A. M. R. Khan February 8, 1982 – January 31, 1984
E. A. Chowdhury February 1, 1984 – December 30, 1985
Md. Habibur Rahman January 9, 1986 – January 9, 1986
A. R. Khondkar January 9, 1986 – February 28, 1990
Toyob Uddin Ahmed February 28, 1990 – January 8, 1991 & July 20, 1991 – October 16, 1991
A. M. Chowdhury January 8, 1991 – July 20, 1991
M. Enamul Haque October 16, 1991 – July 8, 1992
A. S. M. Shahjahan July 8, 1992 – April 22, 1996
M. Azizul Haque July 22, 1996 – November 16, 1997
Md. Ismail Hussein November 16, 1997 – September 27, 1998
A. Y. B. Siddiqui September 27, 1998 – June 7, 2000
Muhammad Nurul Huda June 7, 2000 – November 6, 2001
Modabbir Hossein Chowdhury, psc November 16, 2001 – April 22, 2003
Shohudul Haque April 22, 2003 – December 15, 2004
Ashraful Huda December 15, 2004 – April 7, 2005
Mohammad Hadis Uddin April 7, 2005 – May 7, 2005
Abdul Kaiyum May 7, 2005 – July 6, 2006
Anwarul Iqbal July 6, 2006 – November 2, 2006
K. B. Chowdhury November 2, 2006 – January 29, 2007
Nur Mohammad January 29, 2007 – August 31, 2010
Hassan Mahmood Khandker, BPM, PPM, ndc August 31, 2010 – Present


As of December 2012, the strength of the Bangladesh Police is approximately 152,000. The police:population ratio in Bangladesh is 1:1133.[1]

Community policing in Bangladesh

In Bangladesh police, community policing is an organization with the aims of promoting community, government and police partnerships, proactive problem solving, and community engagement to address the causes of crime, fear of crime and community issues. Bangladesh Police have been trying to implement this philosophy nationwide. The Police Reform Program (PRP), a UNDP funded project, has been providing Bangladesh Police with technical assistance to implement community-policing nationwide.[12]

Bangladesh police has been implementing a community policing system, which is very much similar to that of the western style of community policing forum (CPF). Community policing promotes equal partnership between the police and the community, and the Bangladesh Police have identified two tiers of partnerships.

Strategic partnership

Under the strategic partnership there are:

  1. a National Community Policing Advisory Committee, chaired by the Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs
  2. a National Community Policing Co-ordination Committee headed by the IGP or an additional Inspector General of Police at the Police Headquarters
  3. a Crime Prevention Centre, set up in the police Headquarters having the Detective Inspector General (Crime) at the focal point

The Commissioners of the Metropolitan Police units and the Range DIGs of the respective police Ranges also have metro or divisional cells of community policing.

Implementation partnership

The implementation partnership starts at the district level:

There is a district community-policing cell in every district under the Superintendent of Police. The Additional SP or an ASP looks after the district community-policing cell.

Secondly, in the police station level, there is a community policing cell with a full-time community policing officer (CPO), who coordinates the community policing activities in the police station jurisdiction.

Beat policing

Dhaka Metropolitan Police is implementing the beat policing in Dhaka city. In this regard, each Police Station is divided into some police beats, and for each beat there is an assigned Beat Policing Officer.


Women first joined Bangladesh Police in 1974, when fourteen women police officers were appointed in the Special Branch, pf whom, seven were at the rank of Sub-Inspector, and seven were at the rank of Constable. The first female uniformed police members were recruited two years later, in 1976, when fifteen women police officers were appointed in the Dhaka Metropolitan Police for the first time. They were also at the ranks of Constable and Sub-Inspector.[13]

In 1986, there was only one serving female woman police officer: Ms. Fatema Begum was appointed as Assistant Superintendent of Police through 6th Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS) examination. After two years, in 1988, four women joined Bangladesh Police through the 7th Bangladesh Civil Service examination. After an interval from 1989 to 1998, in 1999, eight women officers were appointed through the 18th Bangladesh Civil Service examination. On 21 June 2011 an all women Armed Police Battalion (APBn) was created as the 11th battalion of this force.

At present, policewomen of various ranks are appointed, and work in all units of Bangladesh police.[14] Currently there are about 2,240 women are working in Bangladesh Police in the ranks from Deputy Inspector General (DIG) to Constable.[15]

Selection and training

The recruitment process differs according to the level of position being recruited to, and direct entry (where an applicant does not have to start at the lowest level) is possible. The educational requirements increase with rank. A minimum bachelor degree is required for Assistant Superintendent of Police, Sub-Inspector, and Sergeant, and for Constable, a Secondary School Certificate is required. Recruitment is conducted in the following three tiers:

  • In the rank of Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP)
  • In the rank of Sub-Inspector (SI) or Sergeant
  • In the rank of Constable

Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP)

The Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) are recruited C) through the competitive Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS) examination. They undergo a one year long training in the Bangladesh Police Academy as Probationary ASPs. After passing from the academy, they undergo an orientation training for six months in the district level as a probationer. After that they have been appointed as a full fledged ASPs in different units.

Sub-Inspector (SI)

Sub-Inspectors are recruited by Police Headquarters centrally. They undergo a one year long training in the Bangladesh Police Academy as Outside Cadet Sub-Inspectors. After that they have partake in a two years probationary period in different police units.


Sergeants are recruited by Police Headquarters centrally. After appointment they undergo a six month long training course in the Bangladesh Police Academy, at the rank of Probationary Sergeant. After passing from the academy, they also undergo an orientation training of six months in the rank of probationer.


Constables are recruited in the district level. They undergo a six month long training in the Police Training Centre as a Trainee Recruit Constable (TRC).

Training institutions

The main training institution of the Bangladesh Police is the Bangladesh Police Academy, established in 1912 in Sardah. The Police Staff College was established in 2000 in Dhaka.[16] Bangladesh Police also maintains Police Training Centre (PTC) in Tangail, Rangpur, Khulna and Noakhali. The Detective Training School was established in 1962 in Dhaka.

List of training institutions

Moreover, there are in-service training centres in different districts.


Police medals are awarded every year in the annual Police Week Parade. They are awarded both for bravery and service.

Bangladesh Police Medal (BPM)

  • Bangladesh Police Medal (BPM)
  • Bangladesh Police Medal - Service (BPM-Seba)

President Police Medal (PPM)

  • President Police Medal (PPM)
  • President Police Medal - Service (PPM-Seba)


Different kinds of vehicles are used by Bangladesh Police. The mainly used vehicles are motorcycles and pickup trucks. However, there are also patrol cars, trucks, and buses bus in the fleet. Besides those, there are helicopters, Command Vehicles, Crime Scene Vehicles, Armored personnel carriers, Riot Vans, Water cannons, and aEvidence Collection Vans are used. Besides these, there are requisitioned public vehicles used in times of emergency.


Bangladesh Police has been criticized for having political influence in all levels, and the major decisions are taken under political conditions. Corruption is widespread among the law enforcement, with custody deaths and torture being prevalent. Journalists have been detained and sent to prison for publishing criticism of the ruling Awami League government, including the editor of the Amar Desh newspaper Mahmudur Rahman, who was sentenced to prison, where he spent more than nine months for publishing an anti-government story.[17][18][19]


The weapons used by Bangladesh police are:

Contribution to UN peace-keeping operations

Since its first mission in Namibia in 1989, the Bangladesh Police has contributed to numerous UN peace-keeping missions. In 2005, Bangladesh Police sent its first Formed Police Unit (FPU) to the UN Peacekeeping mission in Ivory Coast.[20]

List of completed and present UNPOL and FPU Peacekeeping missions participated by Bangladesh Police:[21]

Sl. No Name of mission Country Period
1 UNTAG Namibia 1989–1990
2 UNTAC Cambodia 1992–1994
3 UNPROFOR Yugoslavia 1992–1996
4 ONUMOZ Mozambique 1993–1994
5 UNAMIR Rwanda 1993–1995
6 UNMIH Haiti 1994–1995
7 UNAVEM III Angola 1995–1999
8 UNTAES East Slovenia 1996–1998
9 UNMIBH Bosnia 1996–2002
10 UNAMET & UNTAET East Timor 1999–2002
11 UNMIK Kosovo 1999–2009
12 UNAMSIL Sierra Leone 2000
13 UNMIL Liberia 2003 to till date
14 UNOCI Ivory Coast 2004 to till date
15 UNMIS Sudan 2005–2011
16 MONUSCO DR Congo 2005 to till date
17 UNMIT East Timor 2006–2012
18 UNAMID Darfur 2007 to till date
19 UNAMA Afghanistan 2008–2010
20 UNMISS South Sudan 2011 to till date


  1. ^ a b "134 women cops in UN missions". Daily Sun. Retrieved 2011-07-07. 
  2. ^ Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Division (2009). "World Population Prospects, Table A.1" (PDF). 2008 revision. United Nations. Archived from the original on 18 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-12. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b c "History of Bangladesh Police". Retrieved 2010-02-02. 
  5. ^ a b c "Police administration, interrogation of offenders". Retrieved 2010-02-02. 
  6. ^ "Guard of honour at Mujibnagar". Retrieved 2010-04-04. 
  7. ^ "Bangladesh Intelligence and Security". Retrieved 2010-09-07. 
  8. ^ "About Us". Retrieved 2010-02-02. 
  9. ^ "Highway Police of Bangladesh". Retrieved 2010-02-02. 
  10. ^ "History of the Bangladesh Police". Retrieved 2008-09-29. 
  11. ^ "Bangladesh creates tourist police". Retrieved 2010-02-02. 
  12. ^ "Community Policing in Bangladesh". The Independent. Retrieved 2011-06-23. 
  13. ^ "Women in the Police". The New Nation. Retrieved 2008-09-29. 
  14. ^ "History of Bangladesh Police". Retrieved 2008-09-29. 
  15. ^ "Women in Challenging Professions". Retrieved 2010-03-10. 
  16. ^ "Police Staff College". Retrieved 2008-09-29. 
  17. ^ "Bangladeshi editor sentenced for contempt". The New Statesman. 2010-08-20. Retrieved 2013-03-16. 
  18. ^ "Mahmudur jailed for contempt of court". 2010-08-19. Retrieved 2013-04-07. 
  19. ^ "Editor, journalist jailed for contempt in Bangladesh". Committee to Protect Journalists. 2010-08-20. Retrieved 2013-03-16. 
  20. ^ "Present deployment in UN Mission". Retrieved 2010-02-02. 
  21. ^ "List of Mission Completed UNPOL and FPU Peacekeepers". Retrieved 2010-04-04. 
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