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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Top Cop Chastises His Force

The state of affairs at police stations across Russia is "catastrophic," with rank-and-file officers widely corrupted and detectives whitewashing statistics, Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev said Wednesday.

Speaking in the Kurgan region town of Shadrinsk while on a tour of police stations in central and eastern regions, Nurgaliyev said Wednesday that more than 29,000 crimes and violations had been committed by police officers from January through September, a 41 percent increase on the same period last year.

"From year to year, the number of violations among police officers is growing," Nurgaliyev said, RIA-Novosti reported.

"These are just the violations that have been uncovered."

Nurgaliyev's criticism was reserved primarily for police precincts in several regions that he said he decided to visit because he had little trust in reports he had received from senior officers.

Nurgaliyev called police work at the district and small-town level "catastrophic" and "rife with violations" in tracking and registering crimes, Russian media reported Thursday.

Nurgaliyev said that the problem of police officers boosting crime-solving rates by manipulating statistics, a practice known in police jargon as "chopping sticks," was prevalent nationwide.

"Data on solved crimes are falsified everywhere," Nurgaliyev said, Izvestia reported.

Nurgaliyev has taken steps recently to address Russians' skepticism toward a police force notorious for its corruption.

In August, he ordered police officers to be "polite" and "tactful" in their interactions with ordinary people and said a "polite, benevolent" relationship with citizens was essential for the police force's image.