KABUL, Afghanistan, Feb. 4 (UPI) -- Most of the public reaction to Afghan police forces operating outside major population centers, particularly in the south, is negative, a U.N. poll indicated.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has said he would like to see Afghan security forces take on a leading role in the country as U.S. and international forces start preparing to leave the country later this year.
A poll funded by the U.N. Development Program indicated that a minority of Afghans interviewed said their police force was "very" capable of dealing with crime. About 80 percent of those surveyed told interviewers the police in their area understand the law but only 30 percent said they did so "very" well.
About 60 percent of those surveyed said the Afghan National Police was rife with corruption while more than 25 percent said they saw national police using narcotics.
Abdul Rahman Rahman, the deputy Afghan minister of interior, said in a statement the poll helped Afghan officials pinpoint security gaps.
"The results of such surveys will specify the weak points and areas for improvement," he was quoted by U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan as saying.
In urban areas like Kabul, however, at least 79 percent of the Afghans surveyed said they viewed the police favorably.
The November survey vetted the opinions of 5,052 Afghan adults in all 34 provinces. No statistical evidence was available for the survey.