The Ministry of the Interior said expanding police patrols to Lihula-sized settlements would mean an additional cost of €37 million a year, of which €26 million would be labor fees.
After the shooting in Lihula on Saturday night, in which two people died, and police took 45 minutes to reach the scene, questions have arisen as to whether there should be more police patrols in rural areas.
The Minister of the Interior Mart Helme (EKRE) said on Monday if a police officer was sent in every settlement the size of Lihula, it would require an additional €37 million a year.
On Tuesday, Undersecretary of the Ministry of the Interior for Internal Security, Law Enforcement and Migration Policy Veiko Kommusaar explained to ERR the additional annual cost of €37 million has been calculated on the assumption that there would be 24-hour police patrol.
"The calculation is based on a police patrol manned by two police officers because, usually, two people patrol together. So we look at them as a whole," said Kommusaar.
He said the annual cost of one patrol would be €377,500.
"In order to have a police patrol manned by professional police officers 24/7, a total of 1,100 police officers would have to be hired, which would cost €37 million a year, including labor fees of about €26 million," said Kommusaar.
He said in order for a two-member car patrol to be out around the clock, almost 11 police officers would be needed in one settlement.
"Their salary, including employer taxes, is €275,000 a year, the cost of a vehicle (leasing, fuel, etc.) is almost €29,000, and the cost of form and equipment for a new patrol is €73,500," said Kommusaar.
Editor: Helen Wright