Rinkēvičs: tougher police response to hate crime needed

The President of Latvia Edgars Rinkēvičs expects a much more targeted response from the State Police (VP) to hate crimes, Rinkēvičs stated at a press conference on Tuesday following a meeting with Saeima Chairman Edvard Smiltēns (United List).

Commenting on the events of the last week, when a prisoner escaped from Riga Central Prison and then a detainee fled from a police vehicle, Rinkēvičs pointed out that he expected the Ministry of Interior and the management of the VP to carefully assess what had happened and take appropriate action.

Rinkēvičs also looks forward to tougher action by the VP on hate crimes.

“I have questions in some cases for the State Police, I have also expressed in a conversation with the Minister for the Interior that I expect more action from the State Police, for example, in response to hate crimes,” the President noted.

As an example of the hate crime, Rinkēvičs mentioned recent events on the beach of Jūrmala, when beachgoers turned against a Jūrmala municipal police officer. The administrative infringement proceedings originally initiated in this case have been re-qualified for criminal proceedings.

“Action must be much tougher in many cases. And it has to be much better communicated, not when journalists start asking or when the public gets angry. It is one lesson for the police, which must be taken into account,” said Rinkēvičs.

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