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Government okays police streamlining plan

The government Tuesday approved the State Police's development concept that foresees streamlining investigation of crimes and tasking Latvian Prison Administration with escorting of detainees, reported LETA.

The Cabinet of Ministers committee supported the concept back in 2014, but it had remained shelved until today.

According to the concept, the State Police's function of escorting detainees from one correctional institution to another will be handed over to the Prison Administration on July 1, 2019, and from a detention center to courtroom and back - on January 1, 2021.

The government also supported changing the structure of the State Police in order to increase the number of units performing patrols and relieve them from other duties but patrolling.

The concept deals with the police's development in the long term, strategic priorities, main tasks, as well as problems, and possible solutions to these problems, which may have effect on the further development of the State Police.

Under the concept, investigation of criminal cases will be streamlined, and rules on suspending and closing a criminal case will be revised. This requires amending the Criminal Law; the amendments are to be drawn up by June 30.

In addition, police officers will be trained together with prosecutors so investigators and prosecutors have the same understanding of all investigative matters.

Due to the internalization of crime, more police liaison officers will serve in the Europol offices in Ireland, Great Britain, and Russia.

There will be a new education program and training courses for stepping up the measures against cybercrime and investigation of high technology crime.

The concept also emphasizes the importance of renewing material and technical resources of the police, including police vehicles, computer equipment, and others.

According to the concept, non-material motivation of police officers and employees will be developed, as well as competence models for specific police jobs, and personnel selection criteria.

The cost of some of the measures described in the concept has already been calculated. For instance, EUR 1,621,143 will be necessary for improving quality of police patrols in 2018, EUR 2,659,300 will be needed for purchase and lease of State Police and Police College vehicles in 2017, while building a new firing range and renovation of the Police College's sports facility will cost EUR 1,778,590 in 2017.

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