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Page last updated at 16:20 GMT, Monday, 18 July 2005 17:20 UK

Ukraine traffic police abolished

Ukraine police
Traffic police are known for demanding bribes from drivers

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko is to disband the country's traffic police because it has proved impossible to stamp out corruption.

He has ordered a decree to be drawn up abolishing the department, which employs 23,000 people.

Mr Yushchenko said his government's efforts at reforming the traffic police had proved unsuccessful.

Traffic police are said to be unpopular with motorists as they impose on the spot fines and often demand bribes.

Mr Yushchenko said the traffic police had "discredited themselves".

He said he had warned senior traffic police officials "three times that if they only keep on hiding in bushes... and do nothing else, they will no longer exist".

Anti-swearing drive

The interior ministry says the new "patrol service" will be up to "top European standards" and will be monitored carefully for bribe-taking.

Mr Yushchenko, who came to power in January after the disputed presidential elections and Orange Revolution, is also trying to stamp out swearing.

Interfax reports that he told law enforcement officials: "Let's agree: you should leave foul language at home.

"Actually, it would be better if you didn't use it at home either. You are servants of the state. Try to talk without swearing. If anyone can't learn to do this, then write a letter of resignation."

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