Russia’s new Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev urged the agency’s Public Council on Wednesday to help the police improve its image and earn public trust and called on journalists to join this initiative.
“Cooperation between police and society is an indispensable part of law enforcement activities, and now this cooperation is becoming crucial. It’s obvious that the Interior Ministry urgently lacks public trust and support…this reduces the possibility of the police managing to help people in a timely manner,” Kolokoltsev said at a meeting of the Public Council.
The image of the police in Russia has been battered by a spate of scandals in recent months, involving deaths in custody and other abuses. Last week, the former Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev said new measures aimed at tightening police discipline would be introduced.
On March 28, two policemen and their accomplice from the Kemerovo Region in Siberia were charged with beating to death a 25-year-old man in December.
“The officers interrogated the man about his role in several crimes. They illegally moved him to a private garage. The policemen and their accomplice tortured the detainee to force him to admit his guilt,” the Investigative Committee said.
In March, Nurgaliyev fired the head of a district police department in the Russian republic of Tatarstan after a detainee died in custody after police allegedly sodomized him with a bottle.