1.5 million criminal cases closed due to bureaucracy

1.5 million criminal cases closed due to bureaucracy

The Prosecutor General's Office asserts that because of red tape in the police, criminal proceedings are delayed and closed on exceeding the statute of limitations.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs tend to delay pre-investigation checks resulting in hundreds of thousands of criminal cases never reaching the court, RBC wrote. Due to police red tape, a crime can remain under investigation for years with the limitation period for small and middle-scale violations being up to six years. As stated in the Prosecutor's Office, the bureaucratic routine between 2014 and 2016 has caused dismissal of almost 1.5 million cases.

The supervisory authority said one of the main problems police has is poor coordination of the bodies of inquiry and operative search units. It is rare that their violations are revealed, and they are only reprimanded when higher authorities notice the faults.

Experts say, sometimes the police are not interested in filing the case to the prosecutor for some reason, resulting in the case being delayed to the point when it has to be closed upon limitation period. At the same time, the people who had been detained under the case remain in custody since their release would worsen the statistics.

Besides, the Prosecutor remarked frequent illegal refusals to accept claims from victims. According to statistics, 2.5 years have seen about 4.2 thousands of such cases; most of them in Karelia and Mordovia, the Trans-Baikal, Krasnoyarsk, Primorsk, Voronezh, Moscow, Tver and Sakhalin regions.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs commented on the claims by the supervisory authority. The police said they consider about 11 or 12 million claims each year, and unfounded refusals to accept a claim are extremely rare, accounting to no more than 0.006% of all the refusals.

According to experts, about 30 million claims are submitted in Russia yearly, of which 11 million must be checked. However, only 2.5 million criminal cases are filed out of those 11 million claims, so the identified 4.2 thousand cases is just the tip of the iceberg. Criminologists estimated the real crime rate to be 4 to 20 million cases a year, with no information on the real crime situation in the country since it is always cautiously hushed.

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