Budapest, January 28 (MTI) – Law and order and public safety is ensured in every part of Hungary, Interior Minister Sandor Pinter told an interior ministry staff meeting today.
Evaluating law enforcement in 2013, Pinter said public opinion polls confirm the ministry’s assessment that law and order is firmly implemented throughout the country.
He said when he took over his post in 2010, the police force was understaffed by around 3,500 people. Since then, some 4,200 new people have been employed, and the force currently employs 3,573 more police than at the start of the government term. Officers are in patrol in every town and village throughout Hungary today, he added.”Today we are training police to serve instead of to rule,” he said.
The number of criminal acts dropped from a total of 428,000 reported in 2010 to 358,000 in 2013, including 115,000 committed in public areas in 2010 as against 92,000 last year, Pinter said. This latter drop was the result of increased police presence. The number of robberies and transport violations have also fallen, he added.
Parliament has approved new law-enforcement legislation giving priority to the protection of victims first and to the rights of perpetrators only after that, he said. The number of imprisoned criminals has risen, and 75 percent of them are given employment — a ratio that needs to be increased, he added.
When the current government took over, local councils had total debts of 1,247 billion forints (EUR 4bn), but by the end of February this year the government will have taken them over entirely, he said.
Commenting on the government’s public works scheme launched in 2011, he said 153 billion forints were spent on the scheme in the first year and this was increased to 183 billion forints last year. As a result, the number of public workers has increased from 35,000 in 2011 to 407,000 last year.
The introduction of the scheme to grant Hungarian citizenship in a simplified procedure in 2011 has been a major event in immigration and citizenship affairs, and some 515,000 people have taken their citizenship oath since then, Pinter said. Illegal migration has become a considerable burden on the organisation, with the number of illegal entries having increased by 21-fold from the direction of Serbia, he added.