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Police Chief Blames Car Thieves and Migrants for Increase in Crime

The crime rate in Moscow climbed 4 percent in 2012, with a higher number of car thefts and crimes committed in public places, Moscow police chief Anatoly Yakunin said.

Presenting his first report on Wednesday before the Moscow City Duma since taking over as head of the police last June, Yakunin said officers recorded over 180,000 crimes in Moscow in 2012, 4 percent more than in the previous year, Kommersant reported Thursday.

Police attribute the higher rate of street crime to expanding city boundaries, rising crime among migrants and fewer police patrol units.

Moscow prosecutor Sergei Kudeneyev told Kommersant that although the crime rate among migrants in 2012 was only half of the 2008 level, temporary residents accounted for more serious crimes last year.

Every fifth murder in the capital is now committed by a migrant, Kudeneyev said.

Yakunin told deputies that "the lack of a solution for the issue with migrants feeds city crime and leads to ethnic and religious intolerance."

Summing up the results of 2012, Yakunin said the number of murders in Moscow dropped by 9 percent, rapes by 22 percent and burglaries by 7.7 percent.

Yakunin also noted that the video monitoring system set up under former Mayor Yury Luzhkov had proven to be ineffective and was thus shut off.

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