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Analysis: North Ossetia Struggles With Crime Wave, Police Corruption

Statistical data shows a marked increase in crime in North Ossetia since 2006. But even though overall figures are lower than for the Russian Federation as a whole, two thirds of respondents in a recent survey conducted in Vladikavkaz said they do not feel protected by police, while only one in five said they do, reported on April 15. In addition, over 50 percent of the 250 respondents linked their sense of vulnerability to crime to police corruption.

In February 2007, North Ossetian Prosecutor-General German Shtadler said a total of 7,909 crimes were committed in the republic the previous year, a 12 percent increase over 2005, according to on February 14, 2007.

Eight months later, North Ossetian Interior Minister Lieutenant-General Sergei Arenin said the incidence of crime for the period January-September was 9.1 percent higher than in 2006, although the number of murders dropped by 36 percent.

The republican parliament held a debate on the crime situation in May 2007 that ended with the passage of a resolution criticizing the work of the Interior Ministry and singling out police corruption as the gravest problem, ITAR-TASS reported on May 31. An Interior Ministry meeting on April 10 registered a 57 percent increase in violations of police discipline among mid-level personnel during the first three months of 2008 compared with the same period last year, reported on April 11.