CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

In Moscow, City Council Employs Regular Citizens to Fight Crime

The Washington Post reports that the Moscow city council has appropriated $3 million dollars to create "Public Order Councils" in the city's 676 subdistricts.  The Public Order Councils consists of regular citiens who are entrusted with the job of fighting crime in their neighborhoods.

“Without  the  help  of  the  citizens  it  is  impossible  to  have  security,”  said  Inna  Svyatenko, the bill’s legislative  sponsor.  “And  our  goal  is  to  promote  the  people’s  participation.” 

But critics say this effort is an  "attempt to return to Soviet-style monitoring of the citizenry and the resurrection of the feared stukach, or informer, in Russian life."  Says Lev Ponomarev, executive director of the All-Russia Public Movement for Human Rights. “It’s very Soviet, and it exploits the fact that some people will inform on their neighbors with pleasure.”

To see the article, click here.

Mark Godsey

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