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Moscow police chief sees illegal migration as major problem

June 06, 2013, 6:02 UTC+3

“They commit violent crimes - murders, brigandage and robbery with violence,” Yakunin said

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MOSCOW, June 6 (Itar-Tass) - The Moscow police chief, Anatoly Yakunin, has characterized the situation with illegal migration in Moscow as very serious.

“Judging by all opinion polls, Muscovites have been putting this problem top on the list since long,” the police chief said at Business Breakfast at the Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily on Thursday.

Half of the crimes in Moscow are committed by non-residents, and 20 percent of these are committed as a rule by illegal migrants, mainly from Central Asian countries. “They commit violent crimes - murders, brigandage and robbery with violence,” Yakunin said.

He also said that for example last week alone 1,300 migrants were detained in one day, and 1,000 of them were staying in Russia illegally. According to him, the detention centre for foreign nationals designed for 400 people is overcrowded, and this is a problem. “They must be expelled, and for this necessary financing is needed,” he stressed. He also believes that much attention must be paid to holding accountable the organizers of illegal migration. Last year 66 criminal cases were opened and 21 of them have already been taken to court.

The chief policeman also believes that the reform has had a positive effect on the activity of police, although over 20,000 staffers were sacked in Moscow alone. He also said people still want to see dismounted patrols like it was in the Soviet times. Or course it would be good to have them in addition to vehicle patrols, he admitted. However, a technical revolution is underway. “We will be installing special video cameras that could signal judging by person’s behavior that he or she is of interest for police,” he added.

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