Five years of police reform: the Russians started to trust the police

Five years of police reform: the Russians started to trust the police


MOSCOW, 1 March. Today marks exactly five years from the date of entry into force of the law “On police”, within which was a full-scale reform of the Ministry of internal Affairs. One of the main outcomes of the transformation was the growth of trust of Russians to police.

How it all began

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The Federal law was signed by President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev a month earlier, on 7 February 2011. The first steps to transformation agencies were made immediately after a series of resonant crimes committed by policemen. Among the high-profile case of police major Denis Evsukova, who was found guilty of two murders and 22 attempted murders, committed in the night of 27 April 2009. Recall that the events took place in the shop “Island” in Shipilovsky street in Moscow. In March next year the Russian President asked the Agency to submit the draft law “On police” for public discussion on the Internet and to rename militia to police. Already on 7 February 2011 the law was signed and entered into force on 1 March. Thus, from this day police in Russia officially ceased to exist.

For and against

In addition to the adopted law “On police” and renaming was also adopted the decision on extraordinary recertification of employees. The result of this step was to reduce staff numbers by 22%. What is happening with MIA and happy citizens? There are several opposing views. Some experts believe that the changes were necessary, others – that, on the contrary, the reform of the office was a mistake. In particular, the Chairman of the security Commission of the Public chamber of Russia Anton Tsvetkov sure that the reform fell short of expectations as the Russians and police officers themselves.

“Have been a number of cosmetic issues. The most obvious are those that are remembered by staff and citizens. First, it can be noted that from a positive point of view – higher wages, it is right and necessary step. The second form was better. To say that, after certification, we got rid of a great number of unworthy officers, I wouldn’t, because while reform had been reduced and decent, which formal aspects are unable to get recertified. From the negative moments – we have very few police on the street, we do not have enough local police officers, we do not have enough patrol”, – he said.

According to him, the interior Ministry bureaucracy. “The system is very bureaucratic and it is not actively implemented modern technologies. Moreover, those advanced technologies that could significantly simplify the work of the police and increase efficiency,” added Flowers.

However, the Chairman of the Public Council under the Ministry of internal Affairs of Russia Anatoly Kucherena sure that the reform of the Department in modern conditions was necessary, and the law “On police” helped to build the legal system of the country. “The fact that it was necessary to reform the interior Ministry – quite clearly because those laws that were before the adoption of the law “On police”, they have pulled back. The law “On police” gave the opportunity to the differently legislation. I do remember lots of debates about provisions of the bill, the process was very painful. But, overall, the reforms have been carried out, they need us. The law “On police” gave the opportunity to look at the problems faced by citizens, as well as the problems that exist generally in the society,” he said.

Kucherena also noted that a reform is consistent with the realities of today.

“Life changes, therefore, in the context of other reforms it was impossible not to touch MIA. I believe that, despite the fact that quite a lot of criticism and, in General, the reform corresponds to the realities of today. But, with regard to reductions by the relevant services, this all questions painful. On the one hand, the Ministry of internal Affairs rather large load. On the other hand, because of the recession, not enough money to open posts”, – he said, noting that these processes today are inevitable.

The public opinion

The Ministry of internal Affairs conducted a number of sociological studies to see how in present society relates to the police. According to the Agency, all expert organizations are seeing an increase in citizens ‘ trust in the Agency.

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“According to all-Russian center for public opinion research, the level of confidence in the police in the last three years, peaked at 46%. Well and very well appreciated by the police 25% of respondents, up 12% compared to the same indicator of 2005”, – reported in the press center of the Ministry of internal Affairs, noting that in a survey made by experts of the Russian state social University, the General indicator of public trust of the police was 67%. More than half of respondents believe that in the last year or two to live in the country has become safer.

This is also confirmed by the Deputy Minister, state Secretary Igor Zubov, saying that after the adoption of the law “About police” it can be stated that the interior Ministry has been a qualitative change – there are professional police, which operates under the new standards, but the main criterion is the assessment of public opinion.

“Today, stating that the indicators correspond to the advanced international standards. There are certainly disadvantages, there are problems that we in the work of improving the legislation. I note the success of the application of the law (“On police”). The police provides stability in society and achieving results in the fight against crime and the protection of public order, which are welcomed by the great bulk of the population,” he said.

Assistant police

Not to mention the adoption of the law “About participation of citizens in public order protection”. According to authorities, the interest of people “dismissed,” wishing to prove himself as police volunteers, increased.

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“At the present time in Russia there are more than 13 thousand people’s troops, with which pridayutsya or in hot pursuit revealed thousands of offences and crimes. Its spectrum of activity is very wide – from patrolling the streets in the cities and towns of the country, ensuring public order during public mass events – to a joint with the police preventive operations”, – reported in the press center.

Now in many regions of the country operate different forms of participation of such citizens. For example, at the neighbourhood level that social and preventive centers. There are tips of prevention in industrial, commercial and other organizations, public inspection for the prevention of juvenile delinquency, the councils of elders in rural administrations, the Commission to promote family and school, the units assist the police and law enforcement units student orientation.

The prospect for the future

On 1 July last year in the state Duma have been made comprehensive amendments to the law “On police”, which extends the right of police to use weapons in an emergency. The bill, in particular, allows to shoot to kill, the only exception is for “women with obvious signs of pregnancy”. “Law is interesting, we need it. Of course, it should still grind for the second reading, but it is necessary. Because times are changing, crime is changing very much, and today it is (change of law – approx. ) is necessary,” said the Deputy interior Minister Igor Zubov.

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However, the prospect for the future of the Agency – not just amendments to the current law, but the final withdrawal from the so-called “cane system.” “We are not on the “cane system” in General. Although we know that in practice there are situations when the leaders of territorial units in order to build itself a positive image begin to “varnish” statistics. I note that, by virtue of his office as chief of staff and researcher, I traveled abroad for the police units. And the first thing they show, is a report to the police. There all the same indicators are present, which we referred to as “cane system”: the level, dynamics and so on. So I think it’s not about numbers, but what to do with them. You need three things. Improvement of zone control, the extension of the institutions of civil society impact on the police and improvement of work with personnel”, – said the Deputy Minister.

In addition, it also supports the creation in Russia of civil assistants to the precinct. According to him, the Ministry of internal Affairs welcomed the idea, if the municipalities independently decide the issues of its participation in protection of a public order. Assessment Zubov, if in the future there are such helpers, it would be an interesting experiment.