Medvedev sets up police advisory panels

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree on Monday to establish advisory panels at regional police headquarters as part of sweeping measures to reform the country’s police force.

Medvedev has given the Interior Ministry, his federal envoys and local governors until September 1 to establish advisory panels at regional offices of the Interior Ministry, the Kremlin said on its website.

The panels will be appointed by the Interior Minister and government advisory bodies every two years and will only play an advisory role, the decree says.

Members of both houses of parliament and the government are barred from sitting on the panels.

A new police reform law which came into effect on March 1 stipulates a 20 percent cut in officer numbers and pay increases.

Medvedev promised to clean up the force following a string of high-profile scandals, including an off-duty officer who shot dead two people at random in a Moscow supermarket after going on a shooting spree two years ago.

The president has since sacked a couple of dozen top generals but analysts say this has done little to tackle abuse and corruption.

MOSCOW, May 23 (RIA Novosti)

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