Portly police told to exercise
Pot-bellied police in Indonesia's capital have been ordered to exercise, exchanging their uniforms twice a week for T-shirts and trainers as they line up for aerobics and push-ups to shed the pounds.
Anyone over 15 and a half stone must follow the weight-loss programme decreed because of the growing number of overweight officers and the perception that they are unable to provide public protection, said Jakarta police spokesman Col Rikwanto, who like many Indonesians, uses only one name.
He said stress, sedentary lifestyles and junk food made the capital's police officers put on unwanted weight. Registration that began last week has already enrolled 400 heavy officers, and anyone deemed too fat will be required to exercise at least twice a week. And there are plans to expand the programme nationwide.
No-one will be punished for not losing weight, but the officers are not allowed to skip the exercise sessions. They can work at their own pace and are not required to follow strict diets.
A similar programme was started last month by police in Tangerang, a city on the outskirts of Jakarta with 1,470 police officers. They hired trainers to help 132 overweight bobbies get into shape. The programme also involves a medical team that helps to monitor diets and health issues.
"The fat and paunchy cops can't expect to catch fleeing criminals," said Tangerang police chief Col Wahyu Widada, while joining an exercise session along with hundreds of other officers. "This programme is aimed at changing their unhealthy lifestyles."
Some officers said they have managed to lose up to 4lbs after joining the programme a month ago, but others say they've seen no change.
"I was embarrassed by my appearance, they keep motivating me ... it's hard, but I have to try," said Sgt Sugiar, who weighs more than 20 stone and is 5ft 6ins. "No changes so far."