Numbers and Placement of PNTL within the Population in Timor-Leste

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Numbers and Placement of PNTL within the Population in Timor-Leste

Fundasaun Mahein (FM), 31 August 2015

Press Release

The PNTL strategic plan entails a clearly designed objective to recruit new police members. Recent surveys have indicated that a majority of police believe that a lack of proper numbers of officers is having a negative effect on the PNTL’s capacity to fulfill its responsibilities. Increasing populations in Timor-Leste necessitate strong concerns over the responsibilities and capacities of the police at present and in the coming years.

However, some political questions have arisen as to the manner in which to target improvements in the PNTL. A majority of police have also indicated that they lack proper equipment to perform their duties—a situation that would only be intensified by an immediate recruitment of more officers to the force. Poor training of the PNTL force will be also exacerbated by further recruitment, resulting in a decline in overall discipline. Thus, priority must first be given to investing in equipment and training to improve the standards of the current force. Only then should recruitment and expansion of the force be pursued.

Regarding the placement of police in municipality and remote areas, but this PNTL strategic plan does not clear yet. The important point to discuss in this report is about the placement of police members of Timor-Leste which is different to all municipalities. However, this may be a question for all citizens to know about how is the placement of the police members in the future. At least the PNTL should have commitment to ensure the human resource and work-division in each municipality.

The PNTL does not map out a clear plan of action for distribution and placement of police in municipal and local areas. An important point in this report is that the placement of officer in Timor-Leste is a complex process, with varying specifications and needs amongst municipalities. It is within the interests of all citizens to ask and learn about planning for officer placements in the future. The PNTL must be firmly committed to ensuring the proper distribution of human resources and work divisions in each municipality.

The relationship between internal security and police presence is still murky in Timor-Leste. Dat on the relationship has not shown a definitive trend in the relationship, though some evidence has shown increases in local police distribution correlates to a lower frequency of security incidents. FM encourages PNTL to focus immediate energy and resources on development of data analysis and statistics on police performance for quantitative assessments in the future. Assessments of policing performance and progress will inform various areas of policy and strategy for the PNTL, including discussions of recruitment and placement and distribution of human resources.


1. PNTL justifies recruitment over new candidates which have been set up on the PNTL strategic plan of 2018 that can reach effective to 4800. PNTL justifies recruitment of new officers under the PNTL strategic plan for 2018, in order to reach its target goal of 4,800 enlisted officers.

2. PNTL assigns specific divisions of officer placements to municipalities and target areas across Timor-Leste, so that officers and the police force can be properly represented in and assessed by the entire population.

3. PNTL regularly issues reports and detailed statistical analysis of security incidents (including dispute/incident, resolution, etc.) and police data, so that assessments can be used for ongoing evaluations of implementation success under the strategic plan.

For more details on this issue please see the following:


Nélson Belo
Executive Director of FM
Phone: (+670) 78316075 or 77561184

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