TIRANA – The police is the most trusted institution in Albania. Yet, the vast majority believe that politicians influence the operational work of the police.

On average, in 2017, Almost half of the population (46%) in Albania trusted their institutions, in comparison with 44% in 2016. The institutions that stand out as the most trusted institutions are the police (61%) and media (60%).

The institutions with the lowest levels of public trust are the judiciary (33%), the Parliament (33%) and the Prosecutor’s Office (35%), stated the Institute for Democracy and Mediation (IDM) researcher Redion Qirjazi at the public event on the presentation of citizens’ perceptions of police in Tirana on September 14.

The 2017 survey indicates that there is increased confidence in fairness and professionalism when employing police officers.

“More than half of the citizens (66%) believe that police recruitment is conducted through public competitions, compared to 56% who thought the same in 2016. This is consistent with the statement that 66% of the respondents believe that the police are operating as a service to the Albanian citizens”, said Qirjazi.

The main challenges with regard to the police work in Albania that resulted in this year’s survey findings are that politics influence the operational work of the police (69% of the citizens).

“In the same vein, the most corrupted part of the police is considered the minister’s closest associates”, pointed out Qirjazi.

The representatives of public institutions had the opportunity to comment on the survey findings.

Arben Shkembi from the Peoples Advocate office stated that citizens’ complaints on police work have decreased this year, compared to the same period of the year.

“There is still a high number of complaints about the recruitment process and reassuming work after a court decision. However, this problem is characteristic for all public administration employees, not only for the police”, said Shkembi.

Head of Professional Standards and Performance in the State Police Hamit Koxhaj reiterated the continuous efforts to fight corruption within the organization.

“In 2017, 37 police officers have been dismissed from the police due to corruption charges”, argued Koxhaj.

Koxhaj added that the survey findings will be subject to further discussions and reflections in the State Police.

The survey was conducted in June and July 2017 on the representative sample of 6,000 respondents in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia, within the regional poll conducted by the POINTPULSE, with the field work conducted by IPSOS Adria.

TAGS: AdvocacyAlbaniaCorruptionExternal OversightPerceptionTirana