In his address, the President said the analysis of the crime situation in 2002 offers no grounds for optimistic conclusions. The total number of registered crimes reduced by nearly 15%, however latent crime and the growth of unsolved crimes remained the main problems.
The President said reducing the number of crimes against individuals, above all, against infringing on people’s life and health is a priority for the law-enforcement bodies. Last year, over 1.8 million people suffered from such crimes.
Fighting terrorism is a priority. The President stressed the role of prosecutors in supervising the adherence to the law in the regions, including in the Chechen Republic. Fighting illegal drug trafficking remains a principal task, he said. Urgent measures are needed to address the problem; therefore the President said he took a decision to set up an independent federal body – a state committee for the control of illegal drug and psychotropic substances trafficking.
The President noted the observance of the law during the election campaigns. The law-enforcement’s task is to provide the people with an opportunity to make an objective choice and promote holding democratic and fair elections.
The President reported on some draft amendments to the Criminal Code submitted to the State Duma that would mitigate punishment for minor crimes. Punishment for a crime against the individual remained unchanged.
Federation Council Speaker Sergei Mironov, State Duma Speaker Gennady Seleznyov, Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office Alexander Voloshin, and his deputies Viktor Ivanov and Dmitry Kozak, Presidential Envoy to the Central Federal District Georgy Poltavchenko, Security Council Secretary Vladimir Rushailo, Audit Chamber Chairman Sergei Stepashin, Constitutional Court Chairman Valery Zorkin, Supreme Court Chairman Vyacheslav Lebedev, Federal Security Service Director Nikolai Patrushev, Internal Affairs Minister Boris Gryzlov, Prosecutor-General Vladimir Ustinov, State Customs Committee Chairman Mikhail Vanin, Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov, Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu, Financial Monitoring Committee Chairman Viktor Zubkov, Oleg Mironov, a human rights ombudsman for the Russian Federation, and Federal Assembly members attended the meeting.