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    Number of claims against Moscow police halves in 2010 — police chief

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    The number of complaints against Moscow police officers declined by 47% in the first two months of 2010 in comparison with the same timeframe in 2009, the Moscow police chief said on Tuesday in a live TV broadcast.

    The number of complaints against Moscow police officers declined by 47% in the first two months of 2010 in comparison with the same timeframe in 2009, the Moscow police chief said on Tuesday in a live TV broadcast.

    "We will move along in this direction," Vladimir Kolokoltsev said on Moscow's TVC channel, adding he intended to further strengthen discipline among his subordinates.

    He also said he had recently dismissed several police chiefs over legal violations, adding "such dealing with [police] chiefs will continue."

    The reputation of the Russian police force has declined dramatically in recent years. In just over 18 months, Russian police officers have been convicted or charged with burning a suspect to death, shooting sprees and rape.

    Following a series of brutal crimes by police officers, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev moved to introduce tougher punishment for police personnel found guilty of crimes, submitting a bill to parliament imposing harsher sentences than for civilians convicted of similar offences. In December 2009, the president announced extensive Interior Ministry reforms.

    On Sunday, human rights activists held a sanctioned rally in downtown Moscow, demanding the dismissal of the Interior Ministry's top officials and the end to persecutions of honest policemen.

     

    MOSCOW, March 9 (RIA Novosti)

     

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