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    Russia's top prosecutor says crime figures fiddled on vast scale

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    A probe last year into the authenticity of Russia's crime statistics found "mass falsification" of figures across the country, Prosecutor General Yury Chaika says in a report made public on Thursday.

    A probe last year into the authenticity of Russia's crime statistics found "mass falsification" of figures across the country, Prosecutor General Yury Chaika says in a report made public on Thursday.

    The probe, carried out by the Prosecutor General's Office, found falsified statistics in all 80 regions investigated, according to the report, which was submitted to the upper house of parliament, the Federation Council.

    The report says prosecutors discovered "mass falsification of primary records" and "egregious cases of distortion of statistical reporting." Chaika accused law enforcement agencies of seeking to "embellish the real crime picture" and show that crime clearance rates are higher than they really are.

    "Law enforcement officials use different methods of embellishing the crime situation and presenting their results in a favorable light," the report says.

    Yet even with such distortions crime clearance rates are low, with only one in two crimes solved, Chaika said.

    He blamed the situation on poor oversight and organizational shortcomings, such as the recent restructuring of law enforcement agencies and the abolition of anti-organized crime directorates.

    "Despite the fair criticism that these units came under, it has to be admitted that their work had a positive effect," the prosecutor general said.

    President Dmitry Medvedev has pushed law-enforcement reform, particularly of the police, due to a series of scandals and widespread public dissatisfaction.

    MOSCOW, April 21 (RIA Novosti)

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