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          • Year: 2013
          • Citizens of Serbia on Police Corruption

          • This is the first study of public opinion in realization of civil society organization where the focus is on the perception of corruption in the police, citizens' personal experiences with corruption in the police and evaluation of the reforms of the police in this area.

        • The vast majority of Serbian citizens think that corruption is a widespread phenomenon in our society. However, a significant number of respondents believe that - compared to the previous year - the level of corruption decreased a bit, and that the fight against corruption was partially successful. For a slight decrease in corruption, citizens give most credit to Aleksandar Vucic, the first Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia.

          Citizens of Serbia believe that Vucic will be partially successful in the fight against corruption, but some people will still go unpunished. In order to make the fight against corruption successful, citizens think that institutions need to be strengthened and penalties tightened, instead of giving more power to individuals.

          In Serbia, 90% of the citizens believe that the police are corrupt to certain extent. Theyestimates that the most corrupt are traffic police, criminal police and border police. Nearly one third (31%) of the citizens believe that the main motivation of police officers to participate in corrupt practices is that other police officers do the same.

          Citizens have the same opinion about the fight against corruption at the national level and in the police - institutions should lead the fight, not individuals. However, a major obstacle for the realisation of this goal is that 72% of citizens would not, or are not sure about whether to report corruption if they are required to give their personal data. The positive thing is that quite a few people want to talk about their own, or at least about someone else's “corrupt” experience. This opens the “door” for future researchers.

          It is discouraging that, in comparison with data for 2012, the number of those who have not bribed at all decreased significantly. In fact, during the first three months of 2013, three out of ten citizens of Serbia bribed someone. The number of those who had bribed an employee of an institution, primarily doctors and policeman, has increased. About 16% of the respondents had a direct experience with corrupt policemen, and another 6% had an indirect experience, which is in total 22% of the respondents who had contacts with corrupted police.

          Citizens, however, have a rather clear position on how the civil society and civil society organizations (CSOs) could contribute to the fight against corruption - they could “research and propose recommendations”, “promote ethical work of public institutions”, “provide assistance to the victims of corruption” and, finally, “cooperate with the government in the fight against corruption”.

          The survey was designed by the research team of the Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (BCSP). The field research was conducted by CeSiD between 9 and 19 March 2013 on a representative sample, within the territory of the Republic of Serbia, excluding Kosovo and Metohija.

          Results of the public opinion survey are the first product of the A-COP Group, which consists of 10 civil society organisations supporting the fight against police corruption. 

          The project "A-COP: Civil Society Against Corruption in Police" is supported by the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Serbia and the Office for Cooperation with Civil Society of the Government of SerbiaContent of the Report is the sole responsibility of the editors.

        • Tags: corruption in police, research, public opinion, Serbia, corruption, police, Sasa Djordjevic, Predrag Petrović, Marko Savković
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