Mounting police force indiscipline, system corruption drops. Main risks identified by police are growing street crime in urban areas and more thefts in the villages.
Good new and bad news – this is what the Romanian Police 2010 work report brings. Although the number of indiscipline cases in the force went up, in 2010 the number of officers charged on suspicion of corruption and of those causing road accidents driving while intoxicated dropped. The IGPR report shows a total of over 1,000 policemen sanctioned and over 3,000 rewarded in 2010. At the same time, the number of policemen charged with corruption offences was of over 100 and of the policemen who caused traffic accidents driving under the influence of 47, in both cases a decline being registered compared to 2009. Forty-one policemen refused to take bribe in 2010. The crime figures are also similar to 2009 values, with offences against the person dropping by 8.58 per cent but with thefts going up by almost 8 per cent, in the general context of crisis.
Romanian Police chief Liviu Popa yesterday reported that a total of 712,850 criminal offences had been reported in 2010, with 33 per cent happening in rural areas compared to over 704,000 in 2009, Realitatea TV informs. According to the head of IGPR, the main risks identified by the police are the mounting street crime in urban areas and the higher number of thefts in rural areas, in the context of economic difficulties which also seems to have fostered domestic violence.
With regards to organised crime, Popa says 286 organised criminal groups were dismembered in 2010, over 16 per cent more than in 2009. More then 2,100 people were referred to court in the course of the same year.
KOVESI AND IGAS: SYSTEM REFORM, 2011 PRIORITY
Attending the event, Prosecutor General Laura Codruta Kovesi reproached the policemen that, in 2010, they had not focused in combating petty corruption within the force, although they were supposed to under the MCV.
Kovesi says that, if the police do not insist on that in their work this year either, ‘the perception that policemen are corrupt will be created, which is not true.’ The prosecutor general exemplified with the fact that the number of indictments prepared by prosecutors in cases of small corruption had doubled in 2010, and that, in a majority of cases, they concerned policemen.
The Minister of Administration and Interior, Traian Igas, is also of the opinion that the Romanian Police must modernize itself in 2011 and that the honest, sincere and professional policemen would need to be defended with priority. As for those policemen who do not do their job, Igas is very determined: they ‘will be flung a little.’
‘It is abnormal to see a policeman who does not observe the law. The events on September 24 (the policemen’s rally – our note) was a negative example, it is not normal not to respect the military uniform. (…) Let us try and eliminate all these things’, Traian Igas said. He advised the heads of corps in IGPR to bring back order in the police force, give the public safety, be more present in the street and remove incidents.
On the other hand, MAI Secretary of State Ioan Dascalu says the 2010 police results are a lot under the potential of the workers. Admitting that ‘many a good father hath a bad son,’ Dascalu, who also heads the Public Order and Safety Department of MAI, appreciates the fact that corruption in the force is dropping, as well as the fewer cases of policemen causing traffic accidents.