#13 - JRL 2009-198 - JRL Home

Public Chamber calls for urgent steps against rising police crime

Moscow, 27 October: Russia's Public Chamber views as extraordinary the situation in law enforcement agencies given the rising number of cases of illegal actions by police personnel.

"Almost daily reports of deadly shooting and traffic accidents involving police officers are evidence of an emergency situation involving the personnel of law enforcement agencies," Anatoliy Kucherena, the head of the
Public Chamber commission for control over the activity of law-enforcement agencies, told Interfax on Tuesday (27 October).

According to him, "in order to somehow rectify the situation, tough organizational and personnel measures are needed, including dismissals of heads of departments and units where personnel have committed illegal acts".

Kucherena also said that "joint efforts are needed of the Interior Ministry leadership and civil society to work out common standards for admission to work in police structures". "Yes, we keep on saying that police are part of our society. Whatever society is, so are the police. But one should not put up with this - people who may behave in an unruly manner must not get into law enforcement agencies," Kucherena said.

As part of urgent measures that would restore order in the police in the regions, Kucherena believes personal responsibility of heads of departments must be raised. "The minister alone, with all his efforts and authority, cannot rectify the situation. Tougher measures are needed against heads of departments and then we can immediately see the result - the heads of departments will really begin to work with their personnel and to put things in order with their personnel," Kucherena said.

He suggested "holding broad discussion of the situation that has arisen in law enforcement agencies with the participation of experts and representatives from civil society institutions". "As a result, urgent steps
should be prepared that would stop the wave of offences by policemen," Kucherena said.

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