The fourth assessment of the integrity of the police force in Serbia covers the period from December 2015 to December 2016. The Report includes 24 recommendations to strengthen the integrity of the police.
To ensure the basic role of the police – maintenance and improvement of the safety of citizens – the Belgrade Centre for Security Policy has been regularly examining the integrity of the police since 2012.
The integrity assessment opens up a discussion of the abuse of police powers, police corruption, and misconduct of police officers. Studies conducted in various democratic countries show that management of the police and police culture are the most important factors that influence the officers’ behaviour. Therefore, the focus of this study is to assess the institutional integrity of the police, i.e. the effectiveness of the reform and managerial moves in the police aimed at making it an accountable and transparent service oriented towards the citizens.
The research methodology was improved, compared to the last year’s study. Two areas – transparency and management – which have been studied in detail in 2015 now represent integral parts of each field of integrity observation. Within them, we analysed the steps forward as well as the problems, in both legal and practical terms.
The BCSP identified five areas of integrity observation: 1) external oversight, 2) police accountability, 3) human resources management, 4) financial management, and 5) criminal accountability. The last area is completely new and it served to assess a formal possibility for criminal prosecution of members of the police force for their corruption activities.
The research was conducted based on the content analysis of regulations, reports of various state bodies, international organisations and police unions, public opinion poll, and on the basis of public information obtained from the institutions of the criminal justice system in Serbia. We also used different media content. Unlike last year, no consultations were held with representatives of the Ministry of Interior in this round of research, as the Cabinet of the Minister did not approve our request. By using many diverse data sources, the research team tried to provide the best possible assessment of the integrity of the police force.