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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Riot Police to Operate in All Big Cities

The Russian Interior Ministry announced Tuesday that it intends to set up OMON troops, special riot police, in every Russian city that has 300, 000 inhabitants or more in an effort to combat crime.

Major general Alexander Chekalin, the Interior Ministry's acting chief of maintenance of public order, told reporters that the ministry is planning to make a break from the past by shifting its focal point in its fight against crime by taking active measures to prevent crimes, instead of just trying to apprehend criminals.

Currently, a law is being drafted which would help spread responsibility among the current ranks trying to maintain order on Russia's streets.

Chekalin did not disclose the exact nature of the proposed law, but he did say that work methods had to be changed considering the new economic situation in the country.

The major general cited the growing problem with the many children in Russia who are led to the streets due to the closure of summer camps. He said the amount of crimes committed by minors had risen this year by 16. 5 percent.

He added that many militia officers now work as guards for private companies to supplement their meager salaries, keeping them from performing their regular duties. The sophisticated weapons and technical means criminals use has also made it increasingly difficult for police to battle the crime. By taking more preventive measures, such as conducting regular raids, the ministry hopes to curb the high crime rates.

"Hooliganism is spreading very rapidly", Chekalin said at the briefing. "It has become our main aim to combat this kind of crime".

Alcohol- and drug-related crimes have also risen - 38. 6 percent and 0. 5 -Chekalin said.