Interior Minister Carmen Dan considers that police procedures need to be rendered transparent and police officers to have their authority restored, mentioning that a relevant bill to make internal procedures known to the population is in the pipeline.
“We must render police procedures transparent – and we’ll do this, as we already have a bill that will soon be tabled to the government. I hope we see it adopted next week. Too many times have we been witnessing questionable police interventions or over-the-top reactions of the citizens. By regulating the main interactions between the police officer and the citizen we will clarify the rights and obligations of each party,” Carmen Dan said on Friday as she attended the 2017 stocktaking meeting of the Romanian Police Inspectorate General (IGPR).
The Interior Minister said that this would spare police of “being the target of more or less objective opinions from the public space,” because it would be unfair for the mistakes of particular individuals to cast a shadow on the entire institution.
“The authority of the policeman must be restored, and you need a consistent legal framework, clear action procedures and a high level of tactical and physical training. We must communicate more effectively among us and enhance communication with the citizens and the community, because above all, the police is a public service. This last aspect has often been ignored, because we thought only of us, without looking at the citizens’ expectations,” said Carmen Dan.
The Interior Minister added that all of these goals are listed in the new assessment report completed by the new Police management and that a consistent plan of action is needed to achieve them.
Carmen Dan also spoke about reorganizing the police work schedule, as they are required to respect working hours, but the free time needed to recover after duty must also stay unaffected.
The Minister of the Interior thanked trade union and professional organization representatives for “having understood that certain goals are above individual or organizational interests.”
She also said that a strategy is underway at the Ministry of Interior to reduce staff shortage by recruiting new human resources and that 6,000 people have been hired in 2017 and almost 7,000 will follow in 2018.
“Change within Romanian Police, mandatory and necessary”
Minister of Internal Affairs Carmen Dan also stated on Friday that a change within the Romanian Police is mandatory and necessary.
“This diagnosis that I have requested, a diagnosis which, as I was saying, must necessarily be followed by a measures plan. I understand that plan of measures has already been drawn up, I haven’t seen it yet, I will discuss it as soon as possible, in the upcoming period, with Mr. Inspector General and from now on I assure you we will be very transparent in communication and we will know step by step how we want to bring about change in the Romanian Police, because we consider it to be mandatory, it is necessary,” Carmen Dan said at the end of the 2017 activity report of the General Inspectorate of the Romanian Police (IGPR).
Asked about the Internal Affairs Ministry’s Control body report drawn up upon checks at IGPR, Carmen Dan said an excerpt of the latter will be posted on the Internal Affairs Ministry (MAI)’s website.
The Minister was announcing on 11 January that she requested IGPR’s Control body be sent for verifications in the sexual assault case involving police officer Eugen Stan from the Bucharest Traffic Supervision Service.
IGPR chief: Crime reporting maintains downward trend for 6 consecutive year
Chief of the Romanian Police Catalin Ionita on Friday stated, on the occasion of the presentation of the General Inspectorate of the Romanian Police (IGPR) activity report, that this is for the 6th consecutive year when crime reporting maintains on a downward trend.
“With respect to the work volume, it remained very high. Policemen also having judiciary competencies were involved in about 1.6 million criminal files,” said Ionita.
The police official specified that there were 740,000 interventions recorded in 2017 following 112 emergency calls, 64,000 actions with increased manpower, 240,000 activities specific to education units areas and 430 prevention projects and campaigns.
“I assure you that behind every figure there are many hours of work and effort made by my colleagues,” specified the IGPR head.
He also added that in what the street segment is concerned the number of crimes is decreasing, while the number of cases when offenders were caught in flagrante delicto increased by 31 per cent.
“The number of crimes in the rural area also decreased, as last year we recorded the lowest level of the past 10 years. Serious crimes, involving violence, are still at low level, of only 0.1 per cent of the total crimes reported to us,” said Ionita.
He also showed that, in relation to combating organized crime, the Romanian Police structures were involved in approximately 1,500 operations under the coordination of DIICOT (Directorate for Investigating Organised Crime and Terrorism) or in relation to their own criminal proceedings cases, out of which 500 were large scale cases.
“The main result of the activities carried out by the Romanian Police together with the other law enforcement institutions is reflected in the increased collections to the state budget, as shown by the statistics existing at the level of the Ministry of Public Finance,” stated Ionita.
In respect to fighting corruption, the Romanian Police’s contribution represented procedural activities that were carried out in 850 criminal files, 270 of which were declined by the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA).”In the field of human resources, reducing the staff shortage of 20 per cent remains an issue this year too, but with the support of the Ministry of Defence we will take all the necessary measures to remedy this,” said Ionita.
In what the protection of policemen and the increase of the intervention capacity there were acquired specific means worth more than 7 million lei, almost 4 million of which represented non-reimbursable foreign funds.
“There were already allotted 9.5 million lei for buying protection caskets, anti-stabbing and anti-bullet vests and shirts, and 9 million were distributed to the territorial units for the reparation and sanitation of the police units,” said the IGPR chief.
He also added that, in 2016, there were acquired more than 600 vehicles from non-reimbursable foreign funds.
“In this fields there are efforts made to identify such financing sources for renewing the car park and the other mobility means, considering the specific of the police activity leads to their accelerated wear,” also said Ionita.
PM Dancila: Police overhaul project required, clear-cut, efficient procedures to fight offenders
Premier Viorica Dancila said on Friday that a project to reform the Romanian Police is required, after last year it was faced with some “serious” incidents likely to shake the citizens’ trust in the institution.
Dancila added that “clear-cut” and “effective” procedures must be set in place for police to use against those who break the law.
“In-depth institutional assessments are being currently carried out with the Ministry of Interior, and in particular with the Police. They are mandatory after last year the Police was faced with some serious cases that threatened the citizens’ trust in the institution. We have all come to the conclusion that there is need for a project to reform Police. Carrying it out won’t be easy, but we have already taken important steps through other legislative changes that will strengthen the status of the police officer. Police needs clear and effective procedures in fighting those who break the law, while ensuring a natural exercise of civil rights and freedoms,” Dancila said at the meeting for the assessment of last year’s activity of the Romanian Police.
The Prime Minister assured that she and the government will see to the smooth implementation of this project.
“I know that in order for your actions to be more efficient you need better laws and better equipment, and I assure you that I support the measures aimed at strengthening the authority of the Interior Ministry’s personnel. I consider that the civil society needs to understand and back these moves. Respect is earned by enforcing the law, but the law must defend and protect those who fight crime each and every day. Do not forget that all your actions must have as a goal serving the citizen’s interest to live in a safe social environment. Your training and your professional action, set in an adequate legislative framework, will directly reflect in a higher level of the citizen’s safety. There is nothing else to be asked of you. Police must stay away from political or other kind of games which would seriously distort its mission. I know that the activity of the Interior Ministry is very complex but I trust IntMin Carmen Dan who has proven that she can successfully meet institutional challenges,” said Dancila.
The Prime Minister congratulated all the police officers on their remarkable results in the past year.
“I know that many of you are true heroes who have to overcome shortcomings and do remarkable things in the service of the community. Congratulations to the new leadership of the Romanian Police and good luck in everything you do!” Dancila said in the conclusion of her address.
Dancila asks Romanian Police to speed up human trafficking fight, stress on prevention
Prime Minister Viorica Dancila asked the police on Friday, at the Romanian Police 2017 activity report meeting, to speed up actions to fighting human trafficking and putting an accent on prevention.
“In the European Parliament I have dedicated my activity to a phenomenon which several Romanian women fall victim to, the human trafficking. I know you make efforts to combat this scourge, and I urge you to intensify these efforts and to stress prevention,” Dancila said to the Romanian Police.
The Prime Minister added that it is equally important to protect the victims of domestic violence, that is a “worrisome” phenomenon.
She recalled that the Government has already intervened through legislative modifications, such as the provisional protection order.
“The piece of legislation is due to park in Parliament, and after being endorsed, the Police will have an efficient instrument to combat the domestic violence phenomenon,” Viorica Dancila concluded.