MOSCOW, November 21 (RIA Novosti) – Crooked cops in Russia could start paying a little more dearly for abusing public trust if a new bill, proposing to strip them of their retirement pensions for committing a crime, is passed.
State Duma deputy lawmaker Alexei Chepa of the A Just Russia party cited public outrage over police corruption as a motivation behind the bill as he submitted it Thursday for consideration in the state’s lower house of parliament.
“Most law enforcement officers do their duty faithfully in the service of the motherland,” Chepa wrote in the bill’s introductory note. “However, according to social polls, almost half of Russians do not trust the police.”
Chepa said public opinion polls have found Russians were more angered by police bribery and corruption than any other aspect of their work, but that existing punishments are too weak to prevent police officers from breaking the law.
He argued that one of the most effective ways to fight police corruption would be to strip convicted officers of their retirement pensions.
The punishment would be optional and decided by the convicting court, according to the bill, and would also apply to the military, firemen, drug police, and prison service employees, as well as the police.
Corruption is a massive problem in Russia, as the government itself has acknowledged. President Vladimir Putin’s administration has introduced a much-heralded crackdown on crooked officials, though polls indicate the public has little belief that it can produce results.
Thirty-two percent of Russians said that traffic police were corrupt in a 2012 poll by the state Public Opinion Survey Center (VTsIOM), while 26 percent said that police as a whole were corrupt.
Local authorities topped the survey list, with 36 percent of respondents calling their regional or local officials corrupt.