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    • Necessary dialogue on corruption in police

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    • Date: 15 December 2016

      Belgrade center for security policy (BCSP) appeals on Ministry of interior (MoI) to continue dialogue with civil society organizations in order to propose systematic response to corruption risks in police and increase citizen’s trust in its work. Since MoI needs to serve to the citizens, we consider inappropriate publishing press release fitting more into political than institutional discourse.

      We regret for MoI did not respond on BCSP’s numerous invitations to discuss findings related to sensitive problems in police, such as police politicization, challenges in human resource management, internal control and public procurement. Still, in the same period, MoI used BCSP’s findings on citizen’s increased perception of trust in police, considering these findings credible and relevant. Also, other state institutions and international organizations, such as Agency for fight against corruption, Council of Europe and European Union, use BCSP’s findings in reports they publish in different fields they follow.

      It is positive that MoI, reacting to draft report on police integrity in 2016, published total number of submitted criminal charges against police officers in 2015, including charges submitted by internal control sector and other organizational units in the MoI. More transparency and open dialogue are the best path towards reducing corruption in the police. Following this principle, BCSP recently proposed publishing of the report MoI regularly submits to the National Assembly. This would enable interested public to continuously and systematically follow Ministry’s results.

      BCSP invites MoI to publish and make available following data (in period 2005-2016):

      1) which organizational units of the MoI submitted criminal charges against police officers;

      2) number of police officers covered by submitted criminal charges, their police rank and organizational affiliation;

      3) which criminal acts were covered by submitted criminal charges;

      4) what are the outcomes of the submitted criminal charges (number of dismissed charges, charges discussed in court of law and types of imposed sanctions)

      If received, BCSP’s research team will include this information in final version of the report on police integrity.

      BCSP reminds the public that police integrity assessment report is not limited to analysis of number of submitted criminal charges against police officers, but covers other very important questions for which MoI owes answers to citizens:

      1) Why MoI is not reacting to Ombudsman’s recommendations in relation to police non- intervention in Hercegovacka street?

      2) Is MoI implementing recommendations of internal revision on public budget spending?

      3) What are the most common reasons for citizen’s complaints on police work?

      The best way for strengthening police integrity and increasing citizen’s trust in police work is opening dialogue on higher transparency and accountability of the MoI. BCSP is open to continue the dialogue interrupted in 2016.

      We invite all interested public to send additional information that can improve BCSP’s report on police integrity in 2016 on email office@bezbednost.org until December 20, 2016.

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