Indonesia: Police Told To Lose Weight

Indonesia: Police Told To Lose Weight

Overweight Indonesian police have been ordered to exercise and lose weight so they can run faster and catch criminals more easily.

Twice a week nearly 300 officers in the capital Jakarta exchange their uniforms for sweatshirts and trainers as they take part in aerobics and do press-ups.

The growing numbers of fat Indonesian police are unable to provide public protection, according to Jakarta police spokesman Colonel Rikwanto.

Stress, inactive lifestyles and junk food are the main causes for the surge in police weight, he explained.

No-one is punished for not losing weight or skipping sessions but officers over 100kg are encouraged to exercise at least two times a week.

A similar programme was started by police in Tangerang, a city on the outskirts of Jakarta with 1,470 police officers.

There, trainers and medical teams have been hired to help 132 overweight officers get in shape.

"The fat and paunchy cops can't expect to catch fleeing criminals," said Tangerang police chief Colonel Wahyu Widada during his afternoon training session.

Some officers said they have managed to lose up to 2kg since joining the programme a month ago, whilst others said they have seen no change.

"I was embarrassed by my appearance. They keep motivating me ... it's hard, but I have to try," said Sergeant Sugiar, who weighs about 130kg.

He admits, however, that there have been "no changes so far".