RUSSIAN POLICE OFFICER WITH FLOWERS image www.policesearch.net

MOSCOW, November 7. /TASS/. Russian police, as follows from the findings of the latest opinion poll, are far more polite than one could expect them to be years ago.

According to a VTSIOM poll published on Friday, more than a half of the questioned — 56% — trust the police. 13% have full confidence and 43% trust the law enforcers to a certain extent.

In the meantime, 41% claim that Interior Ministry personnel do not deserve trust (27% do not quite trust them and 14% feel no trust towards police at all). Moscow and St. Petersburg have the largest shares of those distrusting police — 53%.

Of all qualities of Russian police displayed over the past two years that deserve criticism the respondents most often mentioned rudeness and lack of tact (11%). These days such complaints have become far rarer than five years ago (18% in 2009). Another 6% recall cases of brutality. Abuse of office for self-serving purposes by some police deserves criticism in the opinion of 7% of those polled. Others witnessed refusal to accept complaints (6%), extortions and bribe-taking (6%) and statistics rigging. As many as 69% said they have never seen anything of the sort in contrast to 62% five years ago.

58% of the polled believe that assistance from police to individuals in addressing their problems is insignificant. 21% of the questioned (35% of poorly educated and 29% of rural residents) have noticed changes for the better in the operation of Interior Ministry units and offices. 13% do not like the performance of Russian police. They argue that harm done by policing outweighs benefits.

The VTSIOM poll was conducted on November 1-2. It encompassed an audience of 1,600 in 45 territories of Russia. The error margin was no higher than 3.5%.

Henry Sapiecha

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