Russians ‘doubt’ reforms will change police for better

Only 28 percent of Russians believe the country’s police force will improve following a much-hyped police reform, a survey showed.

The poll, carried out by Russia’s leading opinion pollster VTsIOM, showed some 57 percent of those questioned said they believed the reforms, which rebranded the force from the Soviet ‘militia’ to the westernized ‘politsia,’ would have ” no effect on its activities.”

The state of Russia’s police came into focus after a number of high-profile police scandals, including the random shooting of several people in a supermarket by an off-duty police officer two years ago.

In response to growing criticism, President Dmitry Medvedev ordered a large-scale police reform in December 2009, including cutting the number of policemen and increasing salaries.

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