Plan to pay for police protection

  • 2007-07-25
  • From wire reports
RIGA - Latvian Interior Minister Ivars Godmanis minister has floated the possibility of event organizers having to pay for the services of the police in future.

In an interview with BNS, Godmanis said that the situation at several recent public events, including the Baltic Beach Party in the western Latvian city of Liepaja last weekend, showed that organizers want to "make business" by saving on security expenses.

The interior minister said the situation is unacceptable, and so the Interior Ministry has submitted a proposal to government to charge organizers of mass events for the services provided by the state police.

Godmanis also promised to step up controls on private security firms that are hired to ensure public order at such events to make sure that they have the necessary licenses and sufficient resources to maintain order.

"They will have to pay. So far, money has been saved in the hope that law enforcement authorities would ensure order. We have been doing this for free until now," Godmanis said, voicing an opinion that taxpayers' money should not be spent on commercial ventures.