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September 25, 2021
POLITICS

PM Ponta: I have complete confidence in the Police and Gendarmerie

“Not everybody in the police harasses,” says the premier, mentioning that the cases of harassment and discrimination that surfaced recently should not be generalised.

Premier Victor Ponta gave yesterday a message of support and confidence in the Police and Gendarmerie, saying that he appreciates the effort of combatting the cases of discrimination. “(…) There is no garden without its weeds, but one should not mistake things. I do not believe that everybody in the Police commits acts of harassment, same as I believe that 99.9 pc of the gendarmes of this country do their job of an extraordinary manner, in very hard conditions. (…) I have complete confidence in these institutions, both in the Police and Gendarmerie. Without these institutions, there would be chaos. (…) We do not want to sweep the dirt under the carpet either, but we will not generalise what is an isolated phenomenon,” Ponta said, quoted by Mediafax.Yet, the series of rows within Police is far from over. A chief-commissary of the Dolj County Police Inspectorate (IPJ) is accused by a policewoman that he physically and verbally harassed her on many occasions, realitatea.net reports. The case was made public by trade union leader Elvis Maceseanu, who said that the trade union received the policewoman’s first complaint in November 2011 and submitted it to IPJ Dolj. Later, as required by procedures, the complaint was submitted to the General Inspectorate of Romanian Police (IGPR) and, after 6 months, a control came from Bucharest, but the chief-commissary was found innocent. According to the union leader, the plaintiff was not the first woman assaulted within IPJ Dolj. However, women are reluctant to report such cases. Maceseanu added that he does not have too high hopes from the verifications made these days at police inspectorates throughout the country, where all women working with the Police are interviewed. “Policewomen are asked if they were assaulted by their chiefs, but the questions are asked by sociologists and psychologists who, in turn, have their own chiefs and will probably say what they are ordered. I am convinced that nothing will happen, this time too,” the union leader mentioned, quoted by Mediafax.Representatives of the Dolj County Police yesterday confirmed that a complaint was indeed filed in November 2011 by a policewoman against her superior, but a control ordered by the Ministry of Interior found that the accusation was not confirmed and the charges were dropped. In a press conference held yesterday afternoon, the woman (who is chief-commissary of IPJ Dolj) changed her statement, saying that she was not touched or hit by the chief-commissary of IPJ Dolj. “I was transferred to the Public Order department against my will. It was supposed that one goes there if the direct chief wants you. I arrived here against his will and then all kind of sneers started – the so-called problems,” Popescu recollected, quoted by realitatea.net. Asked if she was verbally or physically assaulted, the policewoman answered: “There were verbal and written chicanes. We write reports and he says whether he agrees or not. (…) He did not necessarily hit me or touch me. I was not hit, nor did he touch me.”On the other hand, the spokeswoman of the prosecutor’s office of the Craiova Court of Appeals, Tena Tulitu informed that the Bals policewoman that accused her former chief of forcing her to have sexual intercourse with him and other policemen might be subjected to a psychiatric examination, after the policemen that were questioned claimed their innocence.

Police women throughout the country, interviewed by the IGPR commission

Meanwhile, throughout the country continues the process of interviewing the female employees of Police, in search of possible cases of discrimination and sex harassment at job. The action however does not seem to yield the expected results. Bihor Police chief Liviu Popa said that some policewomen did not come for talks with the commission sent from Bucharest. “Not all policewomen answered the questions, some did not want to introduce themselves, but according to data centralised so far there were no problems in our county,” Popa mentioned. Although 157 policewomen work with IPJ Bihor, sources with the Bihor Police said that the interviews only lasted “two minutes.” On the other hand at Constanta, all 117 female employees of the IPJ were interviewed by the evaluation team sent by IGPR. Leading sources with the county police announced that none of them complained about possible acts of harassment or discrimination.

 

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