National Police of East Timor

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National Police of East Timor
Polísia Nasionál Timór Lorosa'e
Coat of Arms of the National Police of East Timor
Agency overview
FormedMay, 2002
Preceding agency
  • East Timor Police Servicem
Jurisdictional structure
National agencyEast Timor
Operations jurisdictionEast Timor
General nature
Operational structure
HeadquartersDili, East Timor
Agency executive

The National Police of East Timor (Tetum: Polísia Nasionál Timór Lorosa'e, Portuguese: Polícia Nacional de Timor-Leste) or PNTL is the national police force of East Timor.


Armoured cars of PNTL

The PNTL was established in May 2002 by the United Nations, before sovereignty was passed to the new state, with a mandate to provide security and maintain law and order throughout the country, and to enable the rapid development of a credible, professional and impartial police service. Recruitment drives were conducted in early 2000, and basic training commenced on 27 March 2000, under the auspices of the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET). On 10 August 2001, the East Timor Police Service was officially established, working alongside CivPol, the United Nations Civilian Police Force. It later changed its name to the Timor-Leste Police Service, before finally adopting its current title of the Policia Nacional de Timor-Leste.

It was not until independence, on 20 May 2002, that an agreement was signed outlining the terms and timetable for handing over of full policing duties from CivPol to the PNTL. The PNTL finally assumed responsibility for the whole country on 10 December 2003.

There are at least three special units within the PNTL: the Police Reserve Unit, formerly the Rapid Deployment Service; the Border Patrol Unit (Unidade de Patrulhamento de Fronteiras, UPF); and the Rapid Intervention Unit, or UIR, modelled after the Portuguese National Republican Guard riot police, which served in East Timor before its independence.[1]


There are accusation that some PNTL officers have tortured prisoners who have been arrested.[2]



  1. ^ PARTIDO DEMOCRATICO TIMOR-LESTE: Ramos Horta calls for death squad claims probe
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c d e Robert Muggah and Emile LeBrun, ed. (October 2010). Timor-Leste Armed Violence Assessment Final Report (PDF). Special Report No. 12. Small Arms Survey. p. 17. ISBN 978-2-940415-43-4.

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