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21 March 2023, 11:43

Prosecutor General reports on criminal situation in Belarus

Andrei Shved
Andrei Shved

MINSK, 21 March (BelTA) - There can be no complacency in the fight against extremism and terrorism, Belarusian Prosecutor General Andrei Shved said at a large meeting hosted by the head of state with security, defense and law enforcement officials of the country, BelTA has learned.

Andrei Shved noted that last year the law enforcement agencies took measures to ensure a stable social and political situation, law and order, protection of citizens against criminal offences.

"The number of murders, grievous bodily harm has decreased. Fewer people have died from intentional crimes and crimes through negligence," the prosecutor general stated.

He also reported on progress in the work to counter drug crime. The number of such crimes has decreased, the number of deaths from drug use has halved.

"Efforts to combat cybercrime are gradually yielding results. There are other positive results of the anti-crime effort. However, many issues still remain in place, first of all, with regard to countering extremism and, as the beginning of this year showed, terrorism,” Andrei Shved said. “The Prosecutor General's Office takes a clear and consistent position: violation of the principle of the inevitability of punishment breeds impunity and, as a consequence, new, more serious crimes. Extremists are rapidly radicalizing their actions. The terrorist attacks in Machulishchi and Grodno once again showed that law enforcement agencies must step up work to prevent terrorism."

Andrei Shved noted that the number of violations of the procedure for the use of airspace by unmanned aerial vehicles and ultra-small aircraft is growing. He urged to adopt uniform rules for the use, sale and operation of drones and to strengthen responsibility.

"In fighting against extremism we need to step up work on the information front. Attempts have intensified to manipulate young people, create informal movements like the Redan PMC, combat groups capable of fulfilling any order for money, which can be used to destabilize the situation, participate in illegal protests and riots. In this regard, it is important we intensify work on the prevention and suppression of such movements, their leaders and active participants," the Prosecutor General emphasized.

The protection of the rights of minors remains an urgent issue, Andrei Shved said. According to him, from year to year, prosecutors submit response reports related to the insufficient and ineffective work of the police and local authorities to prevent offenses against children. "The current approaches clearly do not correspond to the real situation. Work is often formal. I must say frankly: this is a systemic and chronic problem, which often catalyzes other negative issues," he said. "As a result, the number of rapes, robberies, and domestic violence by repeated offenders increased last year. More children began to fall victim of crime. The number of minors who were sexually abused rose by 20% last year. Among those who committed such crimes were 157 persons with a criminal record. Of them, 38 were convicted of similar crimes."

The prosecutor general also drew attention to road safety. “Despite the decrease in the number of people killed in car crashes, the situation on the roads has not changed significantly. Every year we have some 500 road traffic deaths,” he said. “The number of accidents caused by drivers without a license increased last year,” he added.

Andrei Shved criticized the lack of interaction between the Internal Affairs Ministry and other agencies in identifying drivers with medical conditions. “Some 215 drivers with mental illnesses and other medical conditions were identified in Gomel Oblast alone. Every such person is a potential threat to life and health of people on the road,” Andrei Shved said. “Road safety is the responsibility of both the traffic police and local authorities.”

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