How Ukraine’s police cope with under-funding
A monitoring study carried out by the Odessa Veritas Human Rights Group with the support of the International Renaissance Foundation has found widespread and systematic breaches of people’s property rights.
Serhiy Shvets from Veritas says that even a superficial look into police financing indicates that there is an armed executive body in the country which the public are only about 40% able to maintain. Yet there is practice allowed by law for providing for their activities at the expense of members of the public and other non-State sources of funding.
Such methods include:
- paid services provided by the police. Veritas calls them a mechanism for depriving citizens of their property since such services should be provided free of charge (traffic police services, permits, etc)’
- “charitable” contributions to police expenses – basically another means of extracting fees from enterprises, organizations and individual members of the public.
- unlawful administrative liability - the police use various forms of falsification and deception in order both to get the statistics they need and as a way of appropriating people’s possessions;
- unlawful obstruction of people in owning property or removal of it when carrying out criminal and administrative procedures, etc. One of the most widespread forms of such obstruction is the unlawful seizure of vehicles, removing them to paid car stands and vehicle areas.
Veritas found that it was quite common for police officers to commit crimes in order to seize victims’ property. This included abducting or unlawfully detaining people and demanding a ransom be paid; torturing them to get money out of them; theft, robbery, fraud, artificial creation of the conditions for getting money out of people.
The most common form of crime among police officers, practised in virtually all people units was bribe-taking.