Minister of interior wants criminal police to have a bigger role19.09.2012, 16:43
Ken-Marti Vaher, the minister of the interior (IRL), says in an interview to Postimees that the central criminal police and the criminal police service must become the main force in the fight against serious crime.
Vaher admits that the criminal police have been affected in the current reform of the police and border guard service, but says that the current management of the police force are not to be blamed.
Vaher says that he understands the current feeling in the staff of the criminal police that the constant reforming of the police system in the last five years has practically killed the surveillance part of the police force and the whole focus has been on law enforcement.
According to the minister, if there is some internal opposition in the ranks of the criminal police, it is understandable.
“However, there is no need for that since for this year the additional funds that we have received have gone mainly for increasing the capacity of the criminal police,” said the minister.
Vaher who nine months ago supervised the revival of the central criminal police says that he sees a very clear role for the central criminal police – to combat serious crime, the roots of crime.
“We set up two units at first, one for fighting corruption and the other for investigating criminal gains. In the last unit, we tripled their staff at the start of this year,” said Vaher, adding that the criminal police must make sure that police prefectures follow the same rules when combating drug-related crimes, for instance.
According to Vaher, the unit combating criminal gains has been working very effectively and because of one major case, has secured a large gain for the state.
“Estonia is such a tiny country that only things that are well coordinated and focused are efficient. This is the only way to achieve results. This is also how I see the future of the central criminal police. The police and border guard service with its staff of 6,000 people is the largest government agency by far.”
Vaher also denied claims that police prefectures are seeing the central criminal police at present as a mailbox. Namely, if a local police force wants to use K-komando, the Estonian equivalent of a SWAT team, it will have to send a request to the central criminal police.
Speaking of the scandals involving Indrek Põder and Aleksei Dressen, two members of the national security agency KAPO, Vaher said that these were cases that can happen in any country.
“Let’s not forget that this cleansing has made KAPO stronger. This puts us in a positive light also in comparison with other East European countries. But there is a lot of room for development,” added the minister.