The World's Biggest Police States

egypt police

Photo: ap

In a recent interview, Muhamed Hassanein Heikal, a well-known Egyptian journalist and critic of Mubarak, discussed how the large police force in Egypt led to the fall of the regime:Simply put, the regime made the common mistake of those who rely on violence. When the police force grows to 1.24 million people who have access to all forms of technology, the result is excessive force that created a great illusion for the former regime about its true influence on the ground. Force is often arrogant and overestimates its influence. Here, I reference Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s The Autumn of the Patriarch to help understand what occurred in Tunisia. The tyrant was feared by everyone, but the people broke the fear barrier. The regime there was like the one in Cairo but on a smaller scale. When the people came forward, the tyrant fell quickly, just like the patriarch in Marquez’s book.

Mubarak’s police force was the largest in the world, with 1,500 policemen for every 100,000 people.

Nearby countries in the Middle East and Europe are also saturated with police, including countries that can’t afford them, like Greece.

#21 Mexico

Police force: 393,048

Police per 100,000: 366

Source: The Economist

#20 France

Police force: 228,402

Police per 100,000: 369

Source: Eurostat

#19 Slovenia

Police force: 7,779

Police per 100,000: 386

Source: Eurostat

#18 Hong Kong

Police force: 27,117

Police per 100,000: 393

Source: Channel News Asia

#17 Zimbabwe

Police force: 50,000

Police per 100,000: 401

Source: VOA News

#16 Czech Republic

Police force: 42,117

Police per 100,000: 405

Source: Eurostat

#15 Northern Ireland

Police force: 7,302

Police per 100,000: 411

Source: Eurostat

#14 Bulgaria

Police force: 33,800

Police per 100,000: 442

Source: Eurostat


#13 Croatia

Police force: 19,823

Police per 100,000: 446

Source: Eurostat

#12 Greece

Police force: 50,798

Police per 100,000: 452

Source: Eurostat

#11 Malta

Police force: 1,884

Police per 100,000: 459

Source: Eurostat

#10 Macedonia

Police force: 9,905

Police per 100,000: 484

Source: Eurostat


#10 Turkey

Police force: 341,770

Police per 100,000: 484

Source: Eurostat

#9 Portugal

Police force: 51,584

Police per 100,000: 485

Source: Eurostat

#8 Spain

Police force: 224,086

Police per 100,000: 494

Source: Eurostat

#7 Italy

Police force: 324,339

Police per 100,000: 552

Source: Eurostat

#6 Argentina

Police force: 205,952

Police per 100,000: 558

Source: Understanding High Crime Rates In South America

#5 Cyprus

Police force: 5,280

Police per 100,000: 668

Source: Eurostat


#4 Russia

Police force: 1,383,968

Police per 100,000: 976

Source: Charter '97

#3 Brunei

Police force: 4,101

Police per 100,000: 1,074

Source: unodc

#2 Belarus

Police force: 138,432

Police per 100,000: 1,442

Source: Charter '97

#1 Egypt

Police force: 1.24 million

Police per 100,000: 1,493

Source: ahram online

BONUS: #43 The United States

Police force: 708,569

Police per 100,000: 233

Source: Eurostat

The Egyptian police force had their hands full in January

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