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PM vows to fight against criminal mentality

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, February 14
The fight against criminal mentality will become more effective, Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze stated on Wednesday.

He said that the law will become particularly strict for those who will try to involve minors in criminal activities.

"We are considering a very important initiative [a bill drafted by the Interior Ministry]. We continue to combat criminal mentality. One of the most serious forms of the mentality is so-called street disputes [is when criminal bosses are called to provide justice].

“I would like to emphasize that the law will get particularly strict for those who will try to involve minors in such criminal acts,” Bakhtadze said.

The bill drafted by the Interior Ministry needs to be approved by the government after which the parliament will have the final vote.

On 11 February the Georgian Interior Ministry detained five who were involved in a so-called ‘meeting of criminal bosses’.

The detainees may face 6-10 years in prison.

The five were arrested for their involvement in the ‘criminal underworld’, involvement in the meeting of criminal bosses and supporting the ‘criminal world’ as well.

A total of 58,412 crimes were reported in 2018 in Georgia, of which 20,233 were solved.

Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Natia Mezvrishvili stated that the figures show that the number of registered crimes increased in Georgia in 2018 compared to 2017.

“We should take into account the fact that the statistics that we published today are based on the improved accounting of crime, according to which all cases are registered where there is even little evidence of the offense or the police have any suspicion of committing a crime”, said Mezvrishvili.

The opposition says that crimes have “dramatically increased” in Georgia and they have summoned Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze in parliament in March to speak about the reasons behind the growth.

The opposition believes it is due to the “wrong policy” of the current state leadership which encouraged crimes.