Russia Needs Smaller Police


A small police is a bad thing – very soon crime spirals out of control and we feel, on a very personal level, the need for more men and women in uniform. Too many policemen is worse: research conducted by St.Petersburg’s European University shows that too much control stifles the economy and, astonishingly, undermines the rule of law. Yet the worst thing of all is a police force which is large and poorly paid.

The Russian police force is one of the most numerous and underpaid law enforcement agencies in the world. The federal budget spends less than $9,000 per member of the force. Since March 183,000 police officers have been dismissed and another 48,000 will have to go by the end of the year, as the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has confirmed. Thus 230,000 policemen – an entire police force in Germany or France - will be laid off. With nearly one million still in service, this is, this magazine hopes, just a beginning.