'Corruption is a problem' 's police chief

  • 2007-08-10
  • From wire reports

TOP COP: Lieljuksis believes access to new databases will help tackle corruption (Photo courtesy National Police)

RIGA 's The top officer in the Latvian police force has admitted that corruption is serious problem among his colleagues 's but is confident that the situation will improve.

"The figures are high. It is a problem. I do not think it is easily solved. The situation disturbs me," said police chief Aldis Lieljuksis, Aug 9.

Lieljuksis said that 13 officers were sentenced on corruption charges during the second quarter of 2007, and that 62 criminal cases have been initiated this year.

He added that the "process will not stop."

Lieljuksis underscored that the police service is continuing to put its internal control system in order and has developed guidelines telling officers what they should do if a bribe is offered. As well as declining the bribe, they now have to detain the person offering it.

Other issues being addressed include holiday and overtime entitlements. The police will soon be granted access to State Revenue Service databases, allowing them to keep a closer eye on the official expenditure declarations of police officials. Lieljuksis believes that all these activities will improve the situation considerably.

The Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB) or "police's police" work review for the first half of the year says that 14 employees of different police institutions are officially suspects on corruption charges.

Most are suspected of accepting bribes in return for 'turning a blind eye' to minor offences or dropping the threat of prosecution.