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Government to create electronic crime map

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, September 10
The Georgian government is planning to create an electronic map specifying the country’s top crime spots.

The map will allow people to search for crimes according to region and other search categories.

The initiative was announced by the country’s Minister of Justice Thea Tsulukiani, who stressed that the government remained committed to ensuring the transparency and accountability of public information.

"One of the commitments of the Ministry of Internal Affairs is to provide more transparency not only statistically, but for citizens, non-governmental organizations and media, so that we have more detailed information concerning the number and types of crimes being committed.” she said.

Several steps have been taken in terms of security enforcement in the capital these days. These measures follow several grave crimes reported by media, and public concerns over the increase in crime in the country.

The police raids that have been instituted over the past days have been condemned by some people, especially the opposition. Several individuals have stated that their civil liberties and rights had been abused by police officers. There has also been some speculation that the Ministry of Interior Affairs might be divided.

However, Deputy Minister of Interior Affairs Levan Izoria claims that the issue of separation of security service from the Interior Ministry is not being discussed.

Commenting on the raids, Izoria urged civilians to familiarize themselves with the law on the rights of police officers.

“A police officer knows his rights, but a citizen should also know the rights of the police officer. In many cases people are not aware of police officers’ legal rights,” Izoria said.

The opposition United National Movement demands the dismissal of the current Interior Minister Aleksandre Tchikaidze. The UNM blame him for the increased crime rate in the country.

Head of the Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED), Nino Lomjaria, states that in special cases, police do have a right to carry out patrolling in certain areas. However, police officers are not allowed to physically or verbally abuse an individual who is stopped. Lomjaria informs that in the case of such illegal treatment, a citizen should address to the General Inspection.

Analyst Gia Khukhashvili states that an individual who chairs the Interior Ministry should either be a very powerful political figure, or a very strong and clever policeman.