Not long ago Nekā personīga had acquired information that Chief of Riga Region Police Department Guntars Markitans had exceeded the permitted speed limit while driving a police car. A police patrol that was nearby when it happened stopped him. Markitans made it look as though he was performing a police inspection and left the scene without getting punished.
According to unofficial information, Markitans’ driving speed had exceeded 130 km/h.
Markitans, however, told the programme that he had intentionally exceeded his driving speed to test police officers posted in the area. In addition, he said based on how the police talked to him, he concluded that their behaviour was unacceptable.
Markitans is confident he was driving at an allowed speed. «Maybe plus minus five kilometres one way or the other,» he claims.
A video recording made by the camera installed in the police vehicle could shed some light on this situation. Unfortunately, information about what happened to it is controversial. There are concerns that the video recording of Guntars Markitans’ detainment by the police patrol may have disappeared. It is also possible that it may have been deleted altogether, Nekā personīga reports.
All that is known is that after their shift, 1st company police officers that caught Markitans had left their car on the police parking lot. One or several days later, 2nd company police officers received an order to take that car for a check to the company that maintains the police vehicles’ equipment. This includes video equipment that stores video materials recorded during shifts.
All systems are engaged the moment the driver takes control. The system continues filming everything until the engine is turned off, explains State Police Traffic Safety Office Chief Normunds Krapsis.
Police cars have a built-in hard drive to store video footage. Any violations registered during the shift are later time-stamped in the video recordings at the end of the shift.
NP: How long does this data remain stored on the hard drive?
Krapsis: 240 hours.
NP: Is it automatically deleted on one end?
Krapsis: It is written over by new footage.
NP: Is there a way for police officers to delete anything?
Krapsis: No. Equipment does not allow that.
Ints Kuzis’ led Internal Control Office promises to complete its inspection of Markitans’ behaviour by 1 April.
SP representative Dairis Anucins explained to NP: ‘This inspection consists of two parts. One part is the disciplinary case. The second part is the administrative punishment that should be applied to the person accused of the violation. Because no punishment has been applied, this matter will be discussed now.’
Nekā personīga is aware that on Wednesday, 15 March, the Internal Control Office interviewed both officers that caught Guntars Markitans. The Internal Security Office has also commenced its own inspection. This institution answers directly to the Interior Affairs Minister, not Chief of State Police. The office has confirmed that the inspection is launched in accordance with Section 319 of the Criminal Law.
Interior Affairs Minister Rihards Kozlovskis said – if Markitains’ guilt is proved, his compliance with requirements of the post will be assessed accordingly.