Vox Populi

President Medvedev has promised that feedback from citizens will be taken into account as the document passes through the Presidential Administration and both houses of parliament.

Article 1. The Police and their functions.

* 1. The police are part of the unified centralised system of the federal executive body responsible for the development and implementation of state policy and regulation in the sphere of internal affairs (hereinafter referred to as “the federal executive body in the sphere of interior affairs”), with the assigned task of protecting the life, health, rights and freedoms of Russian and foreign nationals and stateless persons (hereinafter referred to as “citizens” and “persons”, respectively), of combating crime, protecting public order and property, and ensuring social security.
* 2. The police have the right to apply measures of state coercion, including physical force, special equipment and firearms, within the limits specified by federal law.
* 3. The composition and structure of the police shall be determined by the President of the Russian Federation.

Crimea , 9 August, 11.41am.

We are trying to copy the American rule of law system, but the US increasingly resembles a police state, a dictatorship in fact.

We are building an open and fair society. In today’s politics, however, the term “democracy”is often misused to justify control over the colonies of Anglo-Saxon civilisation. Therefore, I cannot say that we are trying to create a democratic society.

There is no need for police. Let our Militia defend me in my beloved country.

As for defects, there is nothing uncommon about them, they have to be corrected.

Otherwise, it will be like in Ivan Krylov’s fable: “My friends, no matter how you sit down, you're not suited to be musicians.”

By Egor Savin, 9 August, 11.31am

“The police are part of the unified centralised system of the federal executive body..."

I believe that in such a huge country as Russia, law-enforcement bodies should function on the local level in the first place, therefore they should be created not at the level of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation, but at the level of local self-government. In this case, public control will be effective, not formal.

Federal authorities should only be responsible for the creation of prosecuting agencies, investigation of serious crimes and, perhaps, some special forces (like OMON), yet strictly limit their possible application locally (excluding any uncertain wording permitting loose interpretation).

Article 13. Rights of the police.

• 1. In performing their functions, the police shall be entitled to:
• 5) Unhindered access to the respective materials, documents, statistics and other information for examination, except in cases when federal agencies establish special rules for obtaining such information.

Anton, 9 August, 12.20pm

Clause 5 of Article 13 of the bill does not contain any references to possible cases of exercising this right by the police. In the absence of references to other legislation (Criminal Procedural Code, Administrative Offences Code) the right of “unrestricted access” becomes unconditional. Formally, the police have the right to visit any organisation without a report of crime (Article 144 of the Criminal Procedural Code), initiated criminal case or an administrative offence, demanding access to “the respective materials, documents, statistics and other information” “for examination.” In other words, Clause 5 of Article 13 entitles the police to carry out any checks of legal entities at any time, even in the absence of proper reasons and grounds.

Meanwhile, the President earlier excluded non-procedural rights from the Law On Militia. Clause 11 of Article 13 of the bill fits this logic perfectly.

To protect the rights of legal entities, I propose editing Clause 5 of Article 13 as follows:

5) unhindered access in legal entities to the respective materials, documents, statistics, and other information in connection with criminal cases under investigation and administrative proceedings.

Article 14. Detention.

• 1. The police have the right to detain…

Stanislav Shcherbakov, 8 August, 5.48pm

It is unclear why periods of detention were not specified for certain offences, for example, in Clauses 2, 3, 4, 6, 7... What does “until transfer” mean? Does it mean that a police officer can transfer the detainee at his/her discretion, today or in a month’s time? A fixed period shall be specified for the transfer of the detainee to the competent body or his/her release.

Chapter 4. The use by the police of certain measures of state coercion.
Article 15. Entering residential and other premises and land

* 1. The police have the right to freely enter or penetrate, at any time of the day, residential and other premises of citizens, their land, as well as the territory, land and premises occupied by legal entities, if necessary, causing damage to locks, other elements and constructions blocking entrance, open any containers and other objects located therein, transport vehicles (except the territory, objects and transport vehicles of diplomatic missions and consulate bodies of foreign countries) and examine them:
1) in the process of immediate prosecution of persons suspected of committing a crime, hiding from inquiry, preliminary investigation, or trial, or evading criminal punishment;
2) with sufficient grounds to believe that an offence is being committed there, an accident happened, or a helpless person is there, as well as for detaining persons specified in Clause 1 of this part, preventing an offence and/or helping the injured;
3) in the event of natural disasters, catastrophes, breakdowns, epidemics, , mass unrests and other emergencies posing immediate danger to the life and health of citizens or property, to ensure the security of population, society and the state.
* 2. In exercising powers connected with the restriction of citizens’ rights to the inviolability of the home, police officers shall:
1) before entering residential premises, inform citizens who are inside of the grounds for such entry;
2) when penetrating the residential premises against the will of citizens who are inside, use safe means and methods, showing respect for the honour, dignity, life, and health of citizens, and avoiding unnecessary damage to property;
3) keep confidential any information regarding the private life of persons who were inside the respective residential premises, which became known to such police officer as a result of his/her entering such residential premises;
4) inform the immediate superior and submit a report about the entering (penetration) the residential premises against the will of citizens therein.
* 3. Within 24 hours, inform the prosecutor of all cases of entering (penetration) residential premises against the will of citizens therein.

Galina, 8 August, 7.10p m

I disagree with this article. What do “sufficient grounds” mean? If there are sufficient grounds, a court decision is required. In this case, anyone can break into my home, shoot in “safe” directions, and INFORM the prosecutor thereafter.

Article 20. Use of physical force.

* 1. A police officer has the right to apply physical force, personally or as part of a unit (group), including fighting methods, meaning the performance, against the will of any person or group of persons, of physical actions aimed against such persons or their property, if necessary, causing physical, material and moral damage, in order to prevent crimes and administrative offences; detention, holding and transportation of persons who committed crimes or administrative offences to competent bodies for further investigation, and also in order to overcome resistance to legal demands by police officers if nonviolent methods do not allow the police to perform their functions.
* 2. A police officer may use physical force in all events when this Federal Law allows the use of special equipment or firearms.

Sizif, 8 August, 12.52pm

It is necessary to exclude administrative offences! Here are just some of them (from the Administrative Offences Code):

Hiding the source of venereal diseases and contacts with sick persons posing the danger of infection, unauthorised production of amber, unauthorised haying or cattle grazing, unauthorised picking of wild fruits, nuts, mushrooms, berries, the operation of motor vehicles with above-normal levels of pollution.

And all this deserves beating! Or even shooting? Moreover, the list of administrative offences also includes “other offences.” In other words, everything deserves beating!

Chapter 6. Legal status of a police officer.
Article 25. Police officer.

* 1. A police officer shall be a citizen of the Russian Federation who performs federal state service within the system of the federal executive body in the sphere of internal affairs and who has been granted a special police rank.
* 2. A police officer is also considered to be serving in the police if he/she:
1) is under the command of a body, institution or any other organisation within the system of the federal executive body in the sphere of internal affairs;
2) is seconded to state bodies and organisations in the manner and on the terms determined by the President of the Russian Federation.
* 3. A police officer shall perform the functions conferred on the police and exercise the rights granted to the police, in accordance with the office held and employment duties (job descriptions).
* 4. Rules for establishing employment duties (job descriptions) shall be determined by the federal executive body in the sphere of internal affairs.
* 5. In performing the obligations conferred on the police and exercising the rights granted to the police, a police officer acts as a representative of the state and is under the protection of the state.
* 6. A police officer shall be issued a service certificate and a special token with his/her personal number, according to the design determined by the federal executive body in the sphere of internal affairs.
* 7. A police officer shall be provided with the respective uniform financed from the federal budget. The design of a police officer uniform shall be approved by the Government of the Russian Federation.
* 8. A police officer shall be entitled to wearing and keeping firearms and special equipment. Rules of issuing, wearing and keeping the firearms and special equipment shall be determined by the federal executive body in the sphere of internal affairs.
* 9. A police officer is subject to mandatory state dactylographic registration according to the rules established by the federal executive body in the sphere of internal affairs.

Person concerned, 8 August, 4.15pm

It is a pain to see the uniform currently worn by police officers. As if it is made of sackcloth, peaked caps cocked to the back of their heads, all is crumpled and faded. It is particularly surprising to see a policeman in ironed trousers and cleaned boots, shirt with a tie, and above all that – a uniform PEA JACKET.

A new uniform is needed – ergonomic, nice-looking and, most importantly, not gray.

Police officers shall themselves buy their uniforms instead of being outfitted in cheap and ill-fitting uniforms. They shall be measured and have their uniforms made for them from high-quality cloth, and the money must be allocated by the Department where they serve. The same money, but the quality will be very different.

Headgear is another problem. I think it is necessary to make it optional. Many police officers look simply RIDICULOUS in their field caps, patrol service “baseball caps”, while peaked caps are the remnant of the Communist era. Indeed, it is a hindrance in the pursuit of a criminal, it is too hot to wear in summer, and of no use in winter. It can only be used for parades. Or all police officers shall be supplied with berets.

Read also:

Police to get new name in reform

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