Russia’s police chief has said that the number of murders recorded in the country has gone down by more than a quarter in the past five years.
Russia reformed its law enforcement system in 2011, revising legal guidelines and raising salaries for employees while renaming the Soviet-era “militia” as a “police” force. The country’s Interior Ministry reported an annual drop in crime rates of nearly 5 percent for 2017, with crime rates in Moscow last year reaching a decade-low.
“Over the past five years, the number of murders has decreased by 27 percent,” Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev told the Argumenty i Fakty weekly on Wednesday.
Aggravated assaults and robberies were down by nearly a half over the same period, he said in an interview in the run-up to Russia’s Police Day on Nov. 10.
The crime rate has gone down despite police force numbers dropping by half a million to 895,000 full-time deputies following the 2011 reforms, Kolokoltsev said.
“We had to redistribute the staff, place more emphasis on the district and those who work ‘on the ground’,” he was quoted as saying.
Within its own ranks, Kolokoltsev boasted that drug trafficking prosecutions of police officers went down 20 percent last year — with 80 police officers being charged or convicted for drug possession or dealing nationwide.
“Is that a lot or a little? I think that for such a huge team, it’s still a lot.”