Medvedev inks new police reform

The new law widens significantly the powers of police in ensuring security.

Last Updated: Feb 07, 2011, 22:53 PM IST

Moscow: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev
on Monday signed a new police reform law to transform the
Soviet-era tool of suppression into a law enforcement force of
a democratic society.

Under the law passed earlier by the two chambers of
the Russian parliament, the name of the force will be changed
from `Militia` to police from March 1.

"The new law widens significantly the powers of police
structures in ensuring security in public places. I hope
police bodies will use these powers with maximum efficiency,"
Medvedev said announcing the signing of the law at a meeting
with top Interior Ministry officials.

He said the fight against terrorism, as well as
efforts to combat extremism, organised crime and corruption
were priorities for the police and other law enforcers, RIA
Novosti reported.

Medvedev criticized both the Interior Ministry and
airport security staff after a recent suicide attack at
Moscow`s Domodedovo airport that killed 36.

Security issues were being handled "unprofessionally"
and "unacceptably," he said.

Medvedev urged the Interior Ministry to "improve
significantly" the effectiveness of its efforts against
organised crime.

In several Russian regions, he said, criminal
structures have incorporated with business and power elites
making it impossible to distinguish them from one another.

He also urged the police to root out corruption within
its ranks saying about half of claims that he receives from
citizens point to "endless extortions" by police and other
officials.

PTI