NEWS

Bureaucratic duties

Between 6,500 and 7,000 officers daily perform the duties of civil servants. These include collecting payments due to state services, surveillance of open-air markets and conducting urban-planning inspections. In some cases, police officers have even had to answer telephones to inform callers as to which pharmacies are on duty. As many as 1,000 officers have to deliver judicial deeds and military documents and another 150 are estimated to be occupied with urban-planning checks, in other words verification that urban-planning regulations have not been infringed. Another 300 officers monitor noise pollution in cafes and bars. At least 500 officers at police stations around the country daily check signatures for authenticity. There are 50 officers to check open-air markets and 200 to inspect driving licenses. Add the 1,000 officers employed for issuing passports and the 2500-3000 officers used for guarding sensitive targets and sports events, and the total is closer to 7,000 officers, whose skills could be more effectively used in crime prevention.