With the vision to assure a safe and pleasant stay to all tourists in Nepal, Tourist Police Nepal was established in 1979 AD as a special unit of Nepal Police working under Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Department of Tourism. Tourist Police today has the strength of 227 Officers under the supervision of Police Inspector and has 24 units spread throughout the country including 9 units inside the Kathmandu valley and 15 units outside the valley in 11 different districts. The Central Office is situated inside the premises of Nepal Tourism Board, Bhrikutimandap. Since its inception, the Tourist Police have been active in facilitating tourists and delivering security services.
The Tourist Police register complaints, conduct preliminary investigation and recommend immediate action in order to assist in recovery of lost goods and documents of the tourists and prepare a police report. Tourist sites are in regular patrol and vigilance to prevent harassment and exploitation of tourists. Tourist Police are skilled to extend quality and efficient services to the tourists with its motto “Tourist Police for tourists’ safety”. To know more about their present condition, our correspondent from Tourism Mail, Juliyana Shah interviewed Rupa Thapa in charge of the Tourist Police Unit. She was appointed in the post of inspector in March 23, 2014.
Q: What are the current activities and projects of Tourist Police Nepal?
RUPA : Currently, we are involved in various activities. 24 hours mobile service has been started inside Kathmandu valley to ensure the safety of the tourists. There is also maximum mobilization of tourist police in tourist destination. Likewise, we are coordinating and networking with local police stations and the Tourist Guide Association. We also try to ensure a hassle free tour by keeping hawkers, beggars, peddlers, unauthorized tourist guides and street children away from the tourists and entertain tourists & their complaints courteously, record complaints, investigate preliminary and implement necessary actions in a professional manner. Tourist Police also plays vital role of coordination in between the related Embassies, Consulates and the family members during the time if Tourists face any serious illness, mental problems, becomes victim of natural calamities etc.
Q: What are the further plans and projects of Nepal Tourist police?
Rupa : Tourist Police is planning to have extension of units in other touristic destinations and conducting ‘Mobile Public Awareness Program” in the touriist hubs to give additional information regarding safety measures, crimes against tourists and potential crimes by tourists within Nepal. Similarly, we are also conducting different interaction programs with all the tourism agencies to enhance the safety and security of the Tourists. In further days, we have planned to organize training programs in collaborations with different embassies to strengthen different foreign language skill.
Q: Where do you think is tourism police in terms of IT? How is the relation of Nepal Tourist Police with Nepal Tourism Board and other tourism industries?
RUPA : Nepal Tourist Police is still lacking behind in terms of IT. There is no digitalization and proper technologies. We are unable to trace the locations where there is no network so we are trying to develop new software which will contribute towards finding the locations of tourists and maintaining connection with them. Good use of IT will help in communicating with them so soon we are going to implement digitalization. There is a good relation of Nepal Tourist Police with TAAN, HAN and Tourist Guide Associations.
Q: How much time does it takes to solve the cases that are registered? What are the challenges faced by Nepal Tourist Police?
RUPA : Most of the time the cases are related to theft, lost property, misinterpretation by guides, health issues and poor service and security and Tourist Police has an objective of preventing harassment, mistreatment and criminal activities against tourists. We try to solve these problems are soon as possible. At first we try to see the urgency, and we investigate the cases accordingly. In case of lost passport, we issue the passport within 24 hrs of working days. There are various challenges faced by Nepal Tourist Police. First of all, there is lack of information about the existence of Tourist Police and similarly due to lack of technology, it is difficult to conduct the works efficiently. Likewise, it is hard to handle the cases of tourists suffering from mental illness.
Q: Do you have any suggestions on behalf of the Tourist Police?
RUPA : At last, we would like to say that we should be ready for any kind of challenges, rather that complaining we should unite together to solve the problem and to be developed we need to improve the sectors like education, health, employment and security. Proper recourses should be provided to Tourist Police and trainings and should be provided. Also, communication should be increased and Tourist Police should also be in various interaction programs and digitalization should also be focused. With this, we can assure a pleasant and a memorable stay for tourists in Nepal including advising and assisting tourists safely.
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