The law enforcement system in Belarus should be as effective and optimal as possible, said President Alexander Lukashenko on March 10 at a meeting to review the operation of law enforcement agencies in 2016 and optimization of the law enforcement and judicial system.
More than 250 participants were invited to the meeting.
Among them were representatives of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Belarus, the Committee of State Security, the Investigative Committee, the Ministry of Emergency situations and courts. Belarus President stated that the level of law enforcement and justice systems needs to be optimized.
Such meetings have become traditional and it is not surprising. Security issues are the most important issues for any country. In the last couple of years a lot has been done in Belarus. The Investigative Committee and the State Forensic Examination Committee were established, the consistent system general courts was formed. Nevertheless, some issues still remain unsolved.
Alexander Lukashenko, President of the Republic of Belarus:
Unfortunately, problems in the law enforcement sector still exist. Especially concerning the issues of proper cooperation in the preventive process of law infringement, disclosure and investigation of criminal activities, exclusion of duplication and formalism in work, the completeness of reparation, which are results of criminal acts.
What is more, special attention should be paid to those negative processes, which are happening around us, around Belarus.
Acts of terror in Western Europe, including those, which were performed in a radical new way. Cyberattacks on state infrastructures, migrant flows, military conflict in neighboring Ukraine; these factors cannot but touch upon the interests of Belarus.
Swift measures should be undertaken when addressing the arisen threats. All law enforcement bodies must always be ready to react to these issues. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko payed special attention to this question more than once during the meeting.
Preventive work must be practical and effective. Yesterday I was considering the topical issues of the functioning of Belarus; I paid attention to decree number 3 on social dependency. And I said that it was this very decree that is aimed at preventing. This is a powerful preventive effect. I paid attention of the Belarusian Interior Minister primarily to this very matter. Why?
Because an unemployed person is the future criminal. In 97% percent of cases.
Everyone wants to eat so he wants to get this food by all means. Therefore, we need to turn on all our mechanisms to carry out this preventive work, to prevent crimes in the future.
The Charmian of Belarus Committee of State Security said that the working dynamics of law enforcement bodies are positive.
More than 69% of crimes have been solved, the number of deaths has dropped, and the work on corruption management has been activated. The Ministry of Emergency situations has results of its own. The number of fires and deaths caused by fire has decreased. The Customs have terminated more than 36,000 crimes.
Stanislav Zas, State Secretary of Security Council of the Republic of Belarus:
More than 60% of exported goods get through the customs control in less than five minutes. About 70% of transit goods clear the customs in less than ten minutes. This has massively scaled up the transit attractiveness of Belarus.
Drug trafficking remains one of the most pressing problems.
It takes a lot of effort to suppress drug distribution through the internet. E-wallets and websites shut down every day. This makes it difficult to track down drug distributors.
Meanwhile, the justice system has positive results of its own. Changes were made in 2016. Regional courts have more powers now. Errors can be corrected on the spot. It saves time and money.
Svetlana Buyako, Deputy Chief of Mogilev Regional Court:
All reconsiderations of court cases are an expensive procedure. For instance, from the moment of introducing complete appeal claims in 2016, only four verdicts, which were sent for reconsideration, were vacated. In 2015 the number of such cases was 22.
All in all, there are no complaints about the court system in Belarus. Some 80% of the addresses are connected with disagreements with court judgements.
Nevertheless, attention needs to be payed to the efficiency of the justice system.
Valentin Sukalo, Supreme Court Chairman of the Republic of Belarus:
The period for appeal of court verdicts needs to be pared down to one year. Otherwise, the long period allowing to make an appeal complicates the execution of judgements and increases the timescale of redressing violated rights.
You said that Belarusian courts need more operational efficiency. The justice system cannot be liberally quick, it must be conservative. If we start simplifying and changing things, than the consequences will be negative. And out of the law enforcement system, I think you will agree with me, that the justice system is the most conservative thing.
But we should take our time. Nevertheless, I still remember it from those days and I am sure, that it is still the same today (you said it separated by a comma). Simple cases, when the presence of both sides conducting an argument in court is not necessary (or the two sides can be invited to court and the case can be decided on in five minutes), we are beginning these sessions, developing something new. And so on.
Simple cases should be decided on in an easier and quicker way.
Optimization is another important issue today. Alexander Lukashenko emphasized that there shouldn’t be any incogitant downsizing here.
I do not need optimization for the sake of optimization. Be very careful. A minimum of 50% of wasteful work is in the vertical power system, which is connected with requests, phone calls, some kind of demands and instructions. Everyone has his own functional responsibilities. Everyone does.
There is no necessity for going around the country and pretending that work is being done.
If problems were elicited after being inspected once, than resignation is inevitable. It is not a secret that this year frontier officers and army men will be inspected. By my decision, these inspections will be unexpected. We are not inspecting to find something bad. We are considering key questions.
Optimization shouldn’t be undertaken in offices.
On no account. I mean in places of local authorities, to talk to people, especially with those, who work there. Optimization doesn’t mean reduction of staff. Be very careful in this case.
Certain improvements can be seen in the work of the General Prosecutor Office. More and more regional prosecutor officers go to work in district prosecution offices. All necessary conditions for fighting against corruption have been created. The crime level has dropped.
Nevertheless, the problem when crimes are committed in a state of alcoholic intoxication still remains. There are more than 80% of such cases.
Alexander Konyuk, General Prosecutor Officer of the Republic of Belarus:
I am reducing the central administrative office. The same task is set for the regional prosecutors.
As for the optimization of prosecution offices, you are absolutely right. There is hardly anything to optimize in district prosecution offices. The main thing is to optimize their actions. Nevertheless, I will be simple in words. Sometime ago we paid too much attention to competitiveness, to processes and so on. Let’s look at this matter from reality. If a prosecutor is not needed in court, or he can be done without, let’s not bother prosecutors then.
A notable case was discussed at the meeting. It happened on January 1, 2017 early in the morning, when a police officer took out his service gun, trying to calm down a noisy get-together.
It is a signal for the society. No fuss will be made with scums.
Of course, the case must be looked into. In certain situations a policeman must apply his gun, when lays hands on him or takes out a knife. It is his right.Instructions have been given to every power-wielding agency.
Coordination of crime prevention, controls over precise and uniform law execution are among the top priorities.
The Investigative Committee will have to get the electronic document flow, the informational system and the electronical criminal case going. The Interior Ministry needs to pay due attention to the style and methods of their work. The Security Council of the Republic of Belarus has its own tasks to fulfill.
Certain results in economic security and fighting against corruption have been reached. The secret service and antiterrorist departments of the Committee for State Security deserve focused attention.
We shouldn’t let into Belarus people, who have hostile and extremist intentions.
The control over the situation in government agencies and in law enforcement regulatory bodies must be more specific. Besides revealing a crime, it is necessary to handle the happening there situations well, and have a positive impact on them.
As for the courts, more than 70% of the Belarusian populations have trust in the system.
Nevertheless, the process of court information system development is slow at the moment. The Frontier Service needs to increase the level of their work.
Taking into consideration the fact that Belarus is a transit country, one of the main tasks for the supervisory agency is to create all the facilities for travelling and cargo transfers. It won’t do when border control becomes a stressful trial for people.
I was told about the children’s sports team, which was travelling back to Belarus from Vilnius, and had to stand at the Kamenny Log checkpoint from 7 pm on Sunday till 5am on Monday of December the 5th. What kind of attitude towards people is that then? Children are returning back home, and they had to stay in the queue for the entire night.
More attention should be paid to preventive maintenance. It is better to deal with the causes of crime, rather than with their consequences.
Photo taken from the Official Internet Portal of the President of the Republic of Belarus.