Even though the total crime rate had decreased, there was a 30% increase of especially serious crimes in 2012. This is stated by work results of State Police (SP), which were presented by Chief of SP Ints Kuzis on February 14.
Lack of professionalism is often mentioned as one of the problems of investigation quality. Even though the situation is gradually improving, there is still a high proportion of police officers leaving the service. There is currently a lack of 200 police officers. An important reason why officers leave the service is, of course, the salary.
One other problem is that recruits are turned down due to health problems. One of Kuzis’ promises was to review the criteria by which many people are denied the chance to work in the police force.
Internal Affaris Minister Rihards Kozlovskis admitted on the meeting that 2012 had been full of changes: work was done in progressing SP development concepts. “This strategical document, which was submitted to the government in June 2013, sets the base for a new type of police service – the kind that would have each officer remunerated for the work he has done,” – notes Kozlovskis.
According to him, SP is on the right road – assessing and resolving important personnel policy, work burden division and development questions. It is also apparent that, compared to previous years, there is a notable reduction in the number of employees going on vacations, although it remains a serious problem. The solution to this problem lies in complex measures, but is mainly related to solving the remuneration issue, believes the minister.
“The level of remuneration at SP increases by an average of 30 LVL. Nevertheless, the remuneration of police officers has not yet reached the level of 2008 and is disproportionately low, compared to that of justice system, prosecutor’s office. This is why we have begun working on a new remuneration system with a specific goal – to attach officer remuneration to their direct functions, not their posts,” – noted the minister.
He believes work needs to be continued on issues of discipline, because salaries alone cannot be blamed for actions of some police officers. “Every case of using authority in bad faith undermines the image of SP.”
When speaking about priorities, Kozlovskis mentioned the necessity to defend the interests of the industry in regard to the future of the everyday pension system; the same way the Welfare Ministry is working on it. At the same time, he says, it is necessary to adopt a National Criminal Investigation Model. It is also necessary to raise the professionalism of operatives, as well as that of SP convoy function and execution regulations. It is highly important to raise the accessibility of SP to Latvian residents, he concludes.