Russia moves to restrict police powers

Oct. 30, 2010 at 12:43 PM
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MOSCOW, Oct. 30 (UPI) -- Russia will limit the powers of police to their own jurisdictions to stem abuses, the Kremlin said Saturday.

Under current law, policemen can exercise their authority anywhere in the country, but President Dmitry Medvedev has submitted a law to the State Duma ending that policy, RIA Novosti reported.

"This amendment will, on the one hand, reduce police abuse and, on the other hand, concentrate police efforts on the protection of public order and safety of individuals," a Kremlin spokesman said.

Police scandals and incidents like the random shooting of several people in a supermarket by an off-duty officer in April 2009 have raised concern.

Medvedev ordered reforms in December 2009, including cutting the number of policemen and raising their pay.

The draft law was posted on the Internet for public discussion in August. If passed, it will take effect March 1.

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