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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

City's Top Cop Pleased About Leap in Crime

The amount of crime registered in Moscow has soared -- and that is good, the city's police chief Vladimir Pronin said Wednesday. The increase means police reform is on track, he said.

City police registered about 60,000 crimes in the first four months this year, a 62 percent jump than the same period in 2001, Pronin told a news conference.

The total should reach 160,000 by year's end, or 35,000 more than last year. The yearly average was 90,000 in the 1990s.

Pronin said the skyrocketing crime statistics was a result of a revamp of the Interior Ministry under its head, Boris Gryzlov. One of the cornerstones of the reform is the strict registration of complaints.

Police officers previously balked at registering complaints because they worked under a system that awarded them for the number of cases they solved. More registered complaints meant they would be left with more unsolved cases.

"When they nab a criminal group these days, from 10 to 20 crimes are exposed simultaneously," Pronin said. "Earlier, this rate was much lower because many police officers were reluctant to register citizen's complaints."

He said the rate of registered crimes nationwide was 202 per 100,000 citizens last year, while in Moscow it was only 144.

"This year we will catch up with the average Russian statistics," he said.

Police statistics showed burglaries jumped 150 percent from January to April, while drug crimes grew 20 percent to 30 percent per month.

However, a recorded 20 percent decline in juvenile delinquency is nothing to boast about, Pronin said.

"I don't agree with this figure, it doesn't reflect reality," he said. "I know that police are weak when it comes to fighting juvenile crime."

He said migrants were responsible for 42 percent of the crimes, compared to 40 percent last year.