Interior services seriously short of staff, says Minister

The State Border Guard, as well as the State Fire and Rescue Service (VUGD) and the State Police (VP) face a serious lack of employees, and in some units of the police in Rīga, where the crime rate is the highest in the country, even 60% of employees are missing, said Interior Minister Rihards Kozlovskis (New Unity party) in an interview with LTV October 13.

Kozlovskis pointed out that, in general, 21% of VP jobs are unfilled throughout the country, and the smallest number of vacancies is in Latgale – around 7%. Meanwhile, in Rīga, some structural units are lacking up to 60% of employees.

At the same time, Kozlovskis confirmed that there is also a shortage of employees in the State Border Guard, where approximately 14% of jobs are vacant.

"The National Border Guard in cooperation with the State Police, [and] the National Guard has been fighting [with border violators] for a long time, it must be understood that people work without vacations, a certain fatigue develops, not only physical, but also psychological," said the minister. 

Efforts are being made to increase the work capacity of employees, for example by permitting more overtime, however, it is not expected that the flow of migrants on the Latvian-Belarusian border is likely to decrease in the near future.

Kozlovskis said that in the next 10 years, significant investments in the internal security of the country will be required, and over the next three years, the difference between the financing of the National Armed Forces (NBS) and the internal security sector should be equalized. Next year, it is planned to allot an additional 27 million euros for salary increases, which would allow for an average salary increase of 10% in the internal services, however, there is still a big difference between the NBS and the internal affairs services in terms of social guarantees, the minister said. Around 200 million euros would be needed to equalize social security provision over three years, the minister predicted.

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