Vietnam to Ban Short, Fat Police Officers from Traffic Duty

No fatties, please. Hanoi police are hoping to improve their public image by implementing physique requirements.

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Getty Images / The Image Bank / Paul Chesley

Vietnam, Hanoi, policeman directing traffic on street

The police force in Vietnam’s capital city of Hanoi is undergoing a makeover — and cracking down on the physique of its on-duty traffic officers, the BBC reports.

Officers who are described as overweight, short or abusive will be removed from the streets and reassigned to desk duty, in an attempt to improve the image of Hanoi’s traffic police department. A recent World Bank-backed survey on the most corrupt institutions in Vietnam found the traffic force at no. 1, according to the Agence France-Presse.

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In 2011, authorities banned Hanoi police from wearing sunglasses on duty or hiding behind trees to catch drivers, while attempts were made to recruit female traffic cops in an attempt to improve public perception of the force.

The removal of Hanoi’s less attractive officers may improve the force’s physical image, but it doesn’t quite solve the corruption problem. However, according to the BBC, in addition to the new waistline regulations, on-duty policemen will be forced to carry an official code of conduct on professional behavior with them at all times.

Vietnam is not the only country to begin regulating its police officers’ weight. Last year the Indonesian capital of Jarkarta ordered its police to exercise twice a week while the U.K. has proposed disciplinary measures for overweight officers. Mexico and South Africa have also implemented obesity-related policies for police forces.

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