PRISTINA — Perception of police corruption marked an increase of 17 percent in 2017 compared to 2016 which is a signal for police internal control bodies.
Kosovar Centre for Security Studies (KCSS) on 28 of May organized a conference aiming to present research findings on citizens’ perception on Kosovo Police and the right situation on the ground related to police integrity.
There is a positive trend on perceiving Kosovo Police as a reliable institution by the citizens, said KCSS researcher Plator Avdiu.
“In 2015, around 56 percent of respondents from Kosovo Security Barometer survey declared that they trust Kosovo Police, the same percentage as 2016. Meanwhile, in 2017 the trust towards Kosovo Police was 62 percent, a rise of 6 percent compared to previous years”, explained Avdiu.
However, there are significant differences in relation to ethnicity.
“The respondents from South Mitrovica have the highest rate of trust towards Kosovo Police (around 78 percent in 2017), while those from North Mitrovica, mostly belonging to Serbian community in Kosovo, and have the lowest rate of trust in the Kosovo Police (about 10 percent during 2017)”, highlighted Avdiu.
Respondents were also asked about their views on what is the selection criteria for employment in Kosovo Police.
From 30 to 35 percent of citizens think that this process is done through a public competition – where we see a 5 percent raise from 2016 to 2017.
However, some of the respondents perceive that other negative factors influence the recruitment process in Kosovo Police.
As a result of this, family ties/nepotism (31 percent), political ties (25-18 percent) and bribery (from 11 to 12 percent) are some of the phenomena that have a negative impact on the recruitment process.
Regarding the extent of police corruption, there is an increase of corruption in Kosovo Police.
“While in 2015 around 27 percent of the respondents perceived that Kosovo Police is corrupted, on 2016 there was a decrease on citizens’ perception regarding this matter, with 11 percent of them perceiving Kosovo Police as corrupt”, said Avdiu.
In 2017 there is a noticeable increase when the results are compared with 2016. During 2017 around 28 percent of the respondents stated that Kosovo Police is corrupted, marking an increase of 17 percent compared to 2016.
The results from Kosovo Security Barometer related with Police, especially those related to police corruption reveal the need for police internal control mechanisms to be strengthened and be more pro-active in preventing police corruption, in order to strengthen the institutional integrity of the Police.
“This would undoubtedly influence the reduction of this negative phenomenon, given the fact that the suspicion exists that some police officers are involved in corruption and bribery”, underlined Avdiu.
The report (only in Albanian) “Citizens’ perception trends on Kosovo Police versus reality” covers 2015-2017 period of perceptions of respondents from Kosovo Security Barometer, and also includes monitoring of the integrity related activities of Kosovo Police during the first half of 2018, with particular emphasis on preventing and countering the phenomenon of police corruption.