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Press Release
23/02/2021   National Audit Office: recorded crime is decreasing in the country, however, the preventive system needs improvement

Police officers’ supplies and their response to events are improving, however crime prevention should be carried out more systematically, pre-trial investigations should be faster, officers’ workload distribution should be improved, as indicated in the audit “Police Activity in Crime Prevention and Investigation” performed by the National Audit Office of Lithuania (NAOL)

The police system employs more than 7,700 officers, their salaries in 2020 amounted to EUR 162.5 million (out of total EUR 234.9 million).  

“Our audit shows that since 2017, recorded crime in the country have steadily decreased and in 2019 it reached 2 thousand criminal offences per 100 thousand population. Unfortunately, this indicator in the public security programme reveals only part of the actual crime. If thorough investigations were performed, it would be clear how many people who have suffered the unlawful effect have not contacted law enforcement bodies. Disclosure of latent crime would help to predict which preventive measures are most effective and which are lacking,” says Rasa Kudžmienė, Acting Director of Public Welfare Audit Department of NAOL.

The crime prevention system contributing to crime reduction should be improved as currently there is a lack of regulation that clearly defines the responsible entities in this area, their roles and responsibilities. An effective crime prevention system requires involvement of all participants, however, according to a survey conducted by auditors, the role of police in the crime prevention system is not sufficiently clear for 29 police stations (48%) and 24 municipalities (40%).

The audit found that police supplies with the necessary weaponry and specialised means, service uniforms, communication and transport means is currently adequate and allows for the response function. In 2017, the supplies did not meet the standard and did not reach 50%, but in 2019 it was already higher than 85%.

In order to better manage human resources and increase the satisfaction of officers in their service, it is necessary to ensure not only adequate supplies but also an optimal workload. Human resources management should be improved as according to the survey conducted by auditors, workloads do not satisfy 53% of response and pre-trial investigation officers and 38% of those performing only pre-trial investigation functions.

Between 2017 and 2019, 9,145 children (up to 18 years old) suffering of criminal offences and 5,584 cases of offences committed by minors were recorded. However, 30% of police stations reported that interviews with pre-minors and minors were conducted without participation of a psychologist. In 2018–2019, the Police Department and the Ministry of the Interior submitted proposals to the Government and other interested ministries regarding the centralised use of psychologists, however, the problem has not been solved so far.

The implementation of the recommendations of this audit would ensure systematic and effective crime prevention, the true scale of crime would be made known, the workload of officers would become more even and participation of psychologists in interviews with minors would be ensured.

 

Responsible for the information Communication Division
Last updated on 17 March 2021

National Audit Office of Lithuania

Pamėnkalnio St 27, LT-01113 Vilnius, Phone: +370 608 92 636, Email: nao@vkontrole.lt.