Civil Society Organizations React to Recent Reports of Grave Crimes

Recent media reports of murders and crimes have caused great public concern, suggesting that the crime rate is on the rise.

Responses provided by the Ministry of Internal Affairs to questions posed by the media and public about the increased incidences of crime are often inconsistent and conflicting. To allow proper reflection and assessment of the reality, public must know exactly what methods are used to calculate crime statistics. The public needs to know if the government has a strategy for preventing and combating crime.

We believe that under the circumstances, relevant investigative authorities and the Interior Ministry in particular, must refrain from making general political statements. These agencies should inform the public about what is being done to bring perpetrators to justice and ensure a timely investigation of these crimes. At the same time, methods of combating and preventing crime need to be revised and a more effective strategy needs to be elaborated.

Therefore, we urge the Ministry of Internal Affairs and other relevant authorities to:
 Publish comprehensive crime statistics more often and on a regular basis, to allow objective analysis of the state of crime;
 Provide media and the public with access to the methodology of gathering crime statistics;
 Develop an effective strategy for preventing and combating crime;
 Focus on prisoner rehabilitation and re-socialization programs, to combat recidivism more effectively;
 And lastly, relevant authorities need to thoroughly examine the cases of each inmate pending premature release from prison, while politicians need to consider the responsibility they take upon themselves when issuing such recommendations more seriously.
Transparency International Georgia
Open Society Georgia Foundation (OSGF)
International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED)
Georgian Democracy Initiative (GDI)
Article 42 of the Constitution
Civil Development Agency (CiDA)