The meeting reviewed the Ministry’s performance in 2015 and set targets for 2016.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues.
Today you are to review the performance of the Interior Ministry over the past year and set targets for the future considering the new National Security Strategy that gives priority to ensuring public safety and maintaining law and order.
I would like to note that in the previous year Russia preserved a positive tendency in the reduction in the number of severe and extremely severe crimes, there were fewer registered cases of murder, rape, robbery and armed assault, and the crime-solving rate has gone up. A significant scope of work has been done to protect budget and state funding from all sorts of criminal infringement. More crimes from previous years have been solved, with every fourth of these being severe and extremely severe. Over the past year, the number of road crimes went down by 9 percent.
These are clearly positive results of the agency’s work and they need to be enhanced. Now over to problems, of which there are quite a few.
The Ministry has so far failed to resolve the basic task we spoke about at last year’s Board meeting, namely achieving a qualitatively new level in the functioning of the entire Interior Ministry system and ensuring a cardinal reversal of the criminal situation. This is exactly what the country’s citizens expect of you.
In 2015, we registered an almost 90 percent growth in the number of crimes. This may be a result of objective statistics, which is good. However, the fact that the crime rate is growing is bad. As before, practically half of all the crimes remain unsolved.
Here is what I would like you to focus on.
First, ensuring safety in public places. In 2015, the number of crimes committed in the streets grew by 9 percent. You need to regroup, improve the work of the duty details and make broader use of technical equipment.
You have to make full use of public assistance as well. We have already created a legislative basis for this and some 200,000 people’s guards and Cossacks are helping the police to patrol the streets. I believe it would be of great importance if the regional authorities took a more active part in ensuring public safety.
The second thing is that greater attention should be paid to crime prevention, specifically among the younger generation. Meanwhile, the number of crimes committed by minors or with their participation in 2015 has grown by almost 4 percent – by 3.8 percent. Incidentally, over the past five years the number of crimes committed by people under the influence of alcohol has gone up by 50 percent.
The people who are subject to criminal influence should be under constant supervision by the police and appropriate Interior Ministry agencies. We all know, of course, that it is the neighborhood police inspector who bears the brunt of this work. We have to admit that they are doing a big and very intense job.
However, without resolving the entire range of crime prevention issues we cannot expect any qualitative improvement in the crime situation in the country. We need to clearly establish the authority of all the agencies engaged in preventive work – the police, the regional and local authorities – and do everything necessary to speed up the adoption of Federal Law On the Basis for the Crime Prevention System in the Russian Federation.
Colleagues, I am sure you are aware of the initiative made by the Supreme Court. They proposed transferring a number of crimes that do not pose a significant threat to public safety to the category of administrative offences. This would give many people who made a mistake, particularly young people, a chance to get back on the straight path. Everything should be done here to keep them from committing new crimes, from breaking the law. I would like to stress that this is also a job for the Interior Ministry.
Third. The investigation of economic crimes and corporate raiding requires additional effort. Your job is to provide reliable protection from criminals for the interests of the state, the law, and the interests and property of citizens, particularly those who are honestly doing business.
As you may know, a decision was made to set up a Working Group to monitor and analyse law enforcement practices in the sphere of entrepreneurship. It is to meet for the first time in March. I expect Interior Ministry representatives and experts to take an active part in its work. We have discussed this with the Minister and I hope this will be the case. A lot will depend on our joint work, in this case with the Presidential Executive Office.
This will require an improvement of the normative base and the work of the law enforcement agencies, to minimise and rule out the possibility of pressuring businesspeople, of using all sorts of ‘contract cases’ designed to divide property and the like. This is of principal importance for improving the business and investment climate as well, and for improving the law enforcement agencies themselves and raising public trust in their activities.
The past two years have also seen a reduction in the number of corruption crimes identified by the Interior Ministry. Here, colleagues, we need to carefully look at the realities and analyse the situation. If there has truly been a smaller number of corruption cases, this is good – we are achieving some positive results. However, if this is as result of our, I mean the Interior Ministry’s reduced activity in this area, this may not be exactly the goal we have been working for. On the contrary, work here needs to be enhanced, and not for reporting sake, but to makes the situation in the economy better and to raise trust in law enforcement agencies in general.
The upcoming State Duma elections are to be a significant event in the life of this country, along with regional and municipal elections. The job of the Interior Ministry is to ensure public order during preparation for the elections and the actual voting. It is of great importance to detect and firmly block any attempts by criminals to gain power.
Number four. Your responsibility includes combatting extremism and terrorism. The Interior Ministry and all law enforcement agencies and special services need to upscale their work to prevent and disrupt the activities of radicals who are trying to use nationalistic or extremist slogans, as well as of criminal groups that, as we all know, tend to merge with terrorists and provide them with funding.
We should also improve our cooperation with our foreign partners within international organisations, primarily the United Nations, the CSTO and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
The situation with illegal migration requires special attention. This is a complex task that all bodies of state power should be working on within their respective authority. We can see what is happening on the borders of the European Union. Fortunately, we do not have this problem, in part thanks to your efforts. However, we cannot let anything like that happen here.
We do understand, however, that the situation here is acute. We have millions of migrants, primarily, of course, from the former Soviet republics. We need to ensure they live in normal conditions and work where they are employed, that they adhere to Russian Federation law and the traditions of the peoples among whom they live, so they do not create problems on the local labour market here in Russia so as not to cause irritation among the citizens of the Russian Federation. This is a very delicate job, and a very important one. It is important both for the economy and for social stability.
I would like you to ensure close cooperation of all the appropriate agencies and a prompt solution to matters pertaining to the detection and preclusion of crime in this sphere.
Finally, you need to carry on your work to improve the combat readiness of interior troops. The units are presenting themselves well and they should be kept in constant combat readiness and perfect their skills.
Colleagues, I expect you all to act in an expert and professional manner, perform your duties efficiently and in good faith, doing your job in the interests of this country and its citizens.
Despite the issues I have mentioned, we see that the Interior Ministry agencies are working hard to meet the targets life is setting before you and the Russian Federation.
I would like to thank you for your work and to wish you success.
Thank you very much.
Vladimir Putin: Colleagues,
As you may know, this year was declared the Year of Cinema in Russia. Here is what I would like to say in this connection. Such films as Rozhdennaya Revolyutsiyei (Born in the Revolution), Investigation Held by ZnaToKi (Investigation Held by Experts) and some others, and their characters, such as neighbourhood policeman Aniskin, are among our people’s favourites. Why is it so? This demonstrates the complicated nature of your job, the high moral and human qualities of your employees. Even when Interior Ministry employees use repressive state measures against those who break the law, people see that this is done in the interests of society, and it arouses popular support. On the contrary, if some law enforcement officer breaks the law or treats people with disrespect or rudely, this is seen by the people as treason, because the state has authorised law enforcement officers to do their job, while some of them are abusing their authority.
The Interior Ministry occupies a special place within the law enforcement system and the special services. Why is this so? It is due to the vast number of jobs you have to perform and the complicated nature of these jobs and their scope. We all know, and the heads of the law enforcement agencies present here know well that Interior Ministry employees have the biggest daily work scope, and they operate in very many different areas. The Minister has just covered all these areas in his report. This is a big and difficult job that requires commitment. However, if you and your employees have taken on this job, have made this choice knowingly, then you must do everything to meet the high standards applied to Interior Ministry employees.
Despite the many problems, overall the Interior Ministry is working hard and is producing results. I would like to wish you success in all areas of your work, and most importantly, I would like to wish you to always be ready to tackle the problems and meet the expectations linked with your daily work.
Thank you very much.