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Cup duties stretch Russian police limits

ReutersMOSCOW (Reuters) — Police staffing is so stretched in several Russian cities as officers are deployed to bolster security at soccer World Cup venues that one union leader says criminals could benefit.

Several police officers in cities across Russia said their staff were working long hours, patrols had been reduced and response times to incidents had slowed.

“The situation is very dangerous ... This could lead to grave consequences,” said Vladimir Vorontsov, who represents Russia’s Inter-regional Police Trade Union, which has 17,000 members. “You could get to a situation where there are simply not enough police to do the work. And the only people who benefit from that are the criminals.”

Russia has deployed thousands of police to the 11 cities hosting matches.

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