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The experts believe that complicated situation in the country is not an obstacle for police restructuring.

Public experts prepared the project of police reformation for the country. Representatives of working group on reforming the law enforcement as part of public initiative “Resuscitation package of reforms” told this news at a conference on May, 15. The group of experts from various organizations and institutions have developed and presented for extensive discussion the concept of police restructuring and the project of police law and policing in Ukraine, which is going to replace the outmoded police law.

Experts are convinced that the police reform should not be prepared and embodied by the police itself. This issue should be resolved by those who are not interested in maintaining their positions or influence. For all years of Ukraine’s independence the qualitative and system reform of law enforcement has not been provided, and the police are continuing to work for themselves instead of serving the people. The consequences of it we observed during Euromaidan, and now they are especially noticeable – under the conditions of struggle with organized crime groups across the country. Therefore the experts of public institutions have developed and offer the government a draft action plan for building a new and effective police.

“The initiative “Resuscitation package of reforms” was created to convey a public thought to the new government and to obtain reforms that are really in demand by society. Currently, we have combined over 150 experts from different life spheres – the judicial system, decentralization of power, the fight against corruption and so on. The group of experts on reforming the law enforcement has undertaken the difficult task – to change the system which has finally lost public trust but most resistant to changes. But we already have some good experience in dictation to authorities the popular will, so we’ll be able to change the police too,”- the co-coordinator of the initiative “Resuscitation package of reforms” Svitlana Zalishchuk comments work conducted.

The senior expert of the working group from the Centre for political and legal reforms Oleksandr Banchuk notes, that the problems of Ukrainian police are described today not only in reports of human rights activists, but also are intelligible to majority of ordinary people, that is why the reform does not require lengthy discussions with departments – it requires an immediate action. “Our reform provides for the opportunity of citizens to participate not only in controlling the actions of security-service agents (so called siloviki), but also in their selection and appointment, consideration of disciplinary infractions. In order to make police work for people, it must be subordinated to the community that is we offer the creation of municipal police, which is financed and controlled by those to whom it works for. We also offer to clearly limit the possibility of application and the number of Special Forces agents: they do not have to patrol the streets or perform other functions that can perform regular policemen. Their work is dangerous special criminals, but not civilians. Moreover the salary of and social safety net for police officers should be significantly increased, all that clearly established in law and neither chief nor other officials have any influence on it,” – Banchuk added.

The authors of police draft bill are planning to transfer their results to the authorities as well as to the expertise for international experts. Also the documents will be available for viewing and commenting to all interested on the initiative website. According to results of discussion the texts will be refined and proposed for acceptance.

“The most popular counterargument of reforms now is a difficult situation in the country – the separatists, mass disturbances, looting and panic in some regions of the country. However, the beginning of reforms does not mean the immediate their activation. We are aware that changes will require a transition period. But they need to be started from today to get the results in six months. By carrying out stepwise but profound reforms, we will be able to clear flood of law enforcement officers and gradually restore the confidence in people in the form. And by preserving the situation and interchange the heads of regional departments and subdivisions, the power only incites wave of dissatisfaction and expose us all to danger”, – the director of Programmatic initiative “Human rights and justice” of International Renaissance Foundation Roman Romanov shares his impressions of the current situation with the police.

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