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What's common between Savchenko's law, economic decline, and Donbas war

Author : Tetiana Sviatenko

Source : 112 Ukraine

Interior Ministry voiced the main reasons for the "criminal collapse" in Ukraine
11:40, 18 October 2016

Read the original text at 112.ua.

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Crime in Ukraine is more than allowed. Every day the news announce the dozens of robberies and assaults. People use to blame National Police and the Interior Ministry in it. 112.ua decided to understand, due to what factors crime rate is increasing, and is this the fault of the cops.

The problem turned out to be much deeper than you can imagine. ATO, economy, and "Savchenko’s law," corruption and negligence. At the same time, the Interior Ministry assures that the situation is balanced. Today we cannot talk about a certain peak of growth in the crime rate, yet. Growth rates are increased, the fight against crime does not take place.

War, economy, and migrants

Any war contributes to rampant criminal elements. There are always those who take arms to defend their country, and those who are cashing in on the misery and insecurity of civilians. The same situation is in Ukraine.

Related: Recertification of police: How was it, and what's next?

"All military conflicts give rise to crime. This is an emergency, which gives the risks from personalities such as Pugachev (suspected of killing two patrol officers in Dnipro) to the tremendous growth of illegal weapons. Every potential "Pugachev" has firearms in the pocket. This situation is a challenge for citizens and the police," says MIA speaker Artem Shevchenko.

Also, it is no secret that Ukraine is not in the best economic situation, and the people have literally nothing to eat. This in itself is a factor for enhancing crime. "The growth of crime is inevitable. Officially, we have 1.5 million IDPs, and informally there are more than 2 million people. They have moved to the other regions, the state does not provide them with subsistence materials, so they have all reasons to become criminals. Someone takes a weapon, somebody is quietly stealing. Today, 60% of growth are property crimes," MIA speaker noted.

Related: Canada to support National Police of Ukraine

The sharp increase in the population of peaceful cities affects not only the criminal situation, but also the traffic situation. Thus, the head of Kyiv police patrol Yury Zozulya also connects the increase of accidents on the roads with the IDPs flow.

Reform, re-certification, and the elimination of some MIA units

"In 2015, you could say that we have a war, and not to carry out any reforms. But someone decides that it would be appropriate to carry out the key changes in the time of hostilities.  The society pressure was enormous, the society would like to see changes asap. So everything was made quickly. The patrol officers had to learn more. Somebody believes that real police can only be learned on the street. You must go through insults, bumps, bruises and through wounds, and sometimes through the death of a colleague, and then you will be strong, experienced patrol," said Shevchenko.

Related: Murder of police officers in Dnipro: Why it became possible?

In parallel with the launching the new police, the old officers are re-recertify. This process was aimed not only at cleaning the ranks of law enforcement officers from dishonest policemen, but also on the promotion of decent and lowering of those who should not hold executive positions. Not everyone survived after the re-certification. More than 5 thousand law enforcement officers have been dismissed, but it's just the tip of the iceberg. A number of law enforcement officers simply did not go for recertification, they were dismissed even before it began.

"We have a huge shortage of investigators. It does not affect the detection. As for particularly serious crimes our detection rate is quite high, but robberies and hijackings are often not investigated. Those few investigators that are able to investigate this type of crimes, are so overwhelmed. And then there is the "Savchenko’s law," which in fact released the criminals from the colonies. 8.5 thousand people are liberated, of which 11%, more than 900 people convicted of repeated crimes."

Related: Why Ukrainians stopped to admire new patrol police?

By the way, that the so-called "Savchenko’s law" was a mistake, as almost all the parliamentarians acknowledged it. The amount released under this law and its dire consequences have caused a huge public outcry.

The Interior Ministry say the elimination of Office for Combating Organized Crime (OCOC) did not affect the increase in crime. OCOC, which was founded in the late 80-ies of the last century, was engaged in the fight against organized crime and was sort of a militia in the police, but as they say the police, while it is irretrievably gone.

Related: What is Savchenko's law? Questions and answers

"OCOC has been established by law. To eliminate it, we had to adopt a number of changes in Parliament. This means that it is not just arbitrary decision of MIA. OCOC was created as a response to the emergence of a new criminal fishing - organized crime. Then the gang and gang wielded vengeance and to make matters worse, they had support in society.... at the time, OCOC was acquitted. During the 90s, it has grown, and there was, in fact, “police in the police.” OCOC had its own special forces, operational service, intelligence service. OCOC  leaders felt privileged. Yes, they had also struggled with crime, but their finest hour has passed," said Shevchenko.

New faces, new laws, and public support

During the year of the patrol police, we have repeatedly witnessed scandals involving cops who were caught on bribes, shot people (Kyiv patrol shot drunk passenger) or did not shoot (the scandal in the center of Mykolaiv, when patrol remained inactive), and the murder of patrol in Dnipro.

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"Involving new people to the police, the police “update” is the risk, of course, criminals clearly feel it. Especially during qualification, many former policemen felt fear and apathy that affected their work," said Shevchenko.

Related: 906 prisoners, freed due to Savchenko’s Law, have committed another crimes - Avakov

But apart from a rigorous selection of the police, a few more steps are needed to normalize the situation. These are reform of the courts and public support, and a little more authority to police. But this is not a panacea.

Related: Policewoman fired at tin cans in restaurant in Kyiv

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