We, the undersigned organizations, deem it necessary to respond to the announcement of the Ministry of Internal Affairs regarding its decision to no longer perform periodic publication of crime statistics.
Central principles of democratic policing, such as transparency and accountability require that the police be open to having their activity observed . Public information reports, which include crime statistics, clear-up rates for crimes, reports on human rights protection and corruption cases within the police as well as other public oversight reports, represent one of the tools to comply with the demand for transparency and communicate with the public . Statistical analysis can largely contribute to the development of efficient and professional police service in the country. To this end, it is also crucial that the Ministry fully and timely performs one of the commitments undertaken under the Open Government Partnership – interactive statistics and crime mapping.
Congruent to the memorandum of cooperation signed by five agencies on 30 April 2010, to ensure preparation of a unified criminal justice statistics report, the Ministry of Internal Affairs shall on a monthly basis submit to the National Statistics Office data on the crimes registered during the reporting period; information on termination of initiated investigation and change of the qualification of crimes; information on the affected individuals, administrative offenses and facts of family violence.
It is noteworthy that none of the monthly unified reports, which the National Statistics Office of Georgia published on the basis of 2010 memorandum in the period between 2012 and 2016 includes information provided by the Ministry of Internal Affairs; in addition, first section -statistics on the police - is omitted from all of the reports. Thus, we may assume that either the Ministry of Internal Affairs neglects the commitment stipulated by the memorandum on transfer of monthly statistics to National Statistics Office of Georgia, or alternatively, the latter does not publish reports in a due manner. Meantime, it is worth noting that submission of quarterly statistics to the National Statistics Office by MIA and other agencies does not eliminate the need for presenting monthly statistics by MIA and their publishing by the Statistics Office.
In addition, as representatives of the Interior Ministry claim, additional statistical information is being posted on the web site out of their own “good will”. It is noteworthy that the Ministry of Internal Affairs has not disclosed crime statistics on its website since 15 February 2016. While the legislative and sub-legislative acts do not oblige MIA to publish statistical information on its website, it should be within the interest of the Ministry itself to raise public awareness about its activity and thus comply with the demand for transparency, public accountability and public trust, especially against the background of increasing public interest in the crime statistics.
Consequently, we, the undersigned organizations, call upon:
- Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Statistics Office – to explain the reason for not disseminating monthly statistics on the police activities over the recent years;
- Ministry of Internal Affairs – to fulfil its commitment undertaken within 2010 inter-agency memorandum and in order to facilitate preparation of a unified criminal justice statistics report, submit information envisaged by the memorandum to the National Statistics Office on a monthly basis;
- Ministry of Internal Affairs – in order to keep the public informed and ensure compliance with the transparency principle, to proceed with publication of statistical information on its website.
The undersigned organizations:
Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center (EMC)
Transparency International - Georgia (TI)
Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI)
 Good Practices in Building Police-Public Partnerships, pg. 24
 OSCE, Guidebook on Democratic Policing, §98
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