Yerlan Turgumbayev wrote that Kazakhstan has recently begun reforms of its law enforcement system as part of the overall modernization of the country, and the initial assessment of the results achieved looks very optimistic.
Jarlan Turgumbayev is the Minister of Interior of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
The modernization of Kazakhstan’s internal affairs institutions aims to change the attitude of the country’s citizens towards the police, and this attitude will also be changed by today’s innovations. We have been able to achieve good results in many areas. For example, the selection and training of personnel.
One is to optimize departmental education, and the other is to implement a three-stage selection system and introduce competition principles. New qualification requirements were also approved to promote young and promising employees.
As part of the roadmap for the modernization of the internal affairs organization for 2019-2021, 100 redundant management positions and 1,500 senior positions were abolished. This allows us to review the financing of internal affairs agencies from an optimized perspective.
It is worth noting that positive changes in pay will also lead to increased demands on the work of the police themselves. The introduction of a new standard system for evaluating police performance is proof.
These standards are formed on the basis of social research. For example, at the end of last year, it was revealed that approximately 37% of respondents fully trusted internal affairs agencies, and 38.4% trusted partially. At the same time, 57.4% of respondents believe that the country’s security level is quite satisfactory.
The police force has made important progress in anti-corruption work. Several bureaucracies under the Ministry of the Interior were liquidated. These positions and divisions aroused fair criticism from citizens, and they signaled corruption.
In addition, the digitization of criminal and administrative litigation is underway. To date, 95% of services provided by housekeeping agencies are automated. As a result, the number of police corruption crimes has fallen by 43% in the past three years. In addition, more than 70% of people are confirmed by their own security forces.
We treat every case of such violations as an emergency. The perpetrator was held criminally responsible, and the leader was removed from office.
Work to improve prison conditions is underway. The installation of video surveillance on the territory of prison system institutions can help to improve this situation. In addition, terminals have been installed so that criminals can submit complaints and appeals to other authorities in electronic form.
More than 120 such terminals have been installed, and we will install about 500 more.
But more importantly, we have developed new forms of collaboration with people. Our priorities include making citizens more accessible to the police, their satisfaction with police services, and close cooperation with the public.
In the implementation of these tasks, we must pay special attention to the work of the police to ensure that they often appear in public places. Therefore, the Ministry of the Interior has introduced flexible patrols: the number of patrols on foot has increased in areas where settlements are most prone to crime.
Modern modular police posts with the necessary conditions are also being installed to provide citizens with all-weather service and reception. Today, there are 50 such positions in these areas. 170 more are planned to be installed. In addition, in public places, schools, and hospitals in the Republic, emergency audio/video call systems-the so-called “SOS buttons” have already been installed.
We also have high hopes for the mobile phone application “Police 102” launched in February this year. It allows citizens to send information to the police about crimes they have witnessed.
It should be noted that when the applicant applies through “Police 102”, his location is automatically determined, which allows the operator to take emergency measures. To date, 46,000 citizens have used this method of submitting applications.
Local police officers and district inspectors are key links in the crime prevention and crime system, and their role is another key priority. To improve the status of district police inspectors and expand their powers in the areas of administrative litigation and crime prevention.
Due to internal reserves, we plan to increase the number of regional police officers. Another important issue is the construction of additional police stations.
As a result of measures taken, the crime rate has indeed fallen. At least at the end of last year, we can talk about a 37% reduction. I don’t deny that this may be partly due to last year’s quarantine restrictions.
Obviously, we have achieved objectively significant results in combating drug crimes. This is obviously the result of our measures, especially due to the improvement of anti-drug legislation, especially through the introduction of synthetic drugs and the elimination of such drugs. The sale of electronic information resources such as the Internet and the inducement to use drugs are regarded as particularly serious crimes.
We are also interested in the police reform experience of other countries, especially the European Union, which has strong guarantees for the protection of human rights, human dignity and people’s privacy.