PRISTINA – Almost 70 percent of the respondents have trust on the Kosovo Police. The survey shows an increase of trust by 10% compared to 2016.

Public trust towards Kosovo Police is largely optimistic, even though there are challenges when it comes to police corruption, stated the Kosovar Centre for Security Policy (KCSS) researcher Plator Avdiu at the launching of public opinion poll results in Pristina on 14 of September.

“Almost 70 percent of the respondents have trust on the Kosovo Police by listing it as the most trusted institution in Kosovo during 2017 according to the survey. It is worth mentioning that there is an increase of trust to more than 10 percent when compared to 2016 (59 percent of trust) and 2015 (56 percent of trust)”, explained Avdiu.

Despite the high level of trust in the police, almost 30 percent of respondents have shared negative perceptions on the institution.

“This can be indirectly related to the latest developments within the police, more precisely by the investigation of Police Inspectorate of Kosovo to fight police corruption within the Kosovo Police when a number of police officers were arrested on the ground suspicion of corruption”, said Avdiu.

The respondents have shared quite different attitudes about the recruitment process in the police.

“While more than half of respondents think that employment in the police is conducted through a public competition, on the other hand, other respondents have negative perceived that the hiring process in the police is conditioned by pulling strings with friends and relatives and political connections”, highlighted senior researcher at the KCSS Mentor Vrajolli.

Apart from this, political influence on the operational work of the Kosovo Police is still considered high. Almost 90 percent of respondents have shared their opinion that the police has been exposed to some extent to political influence.

Regardless of the positive results marking high percentages of trust in the police, the respondents stated that police corruption is yet a challenge in Kosovo. Around 40 percent of respondents in 2017 perceived that the Kosovo Police is affected by corruption, whereas the most corrupted police units are traffic police by almost 50 percent, border police by around 47 percent and closest associates of the Minister of Internal Affairs by 46 percent of respondents.

“However, the least corrupted police units have resulted to be the criminal police, public law and order police, police administration and special force within the Kosovo Police. Those results have indicated that there is a need for internal control bodies to strengthen their professional capacities to prevent police corruption as well as the Police Inspectorate of Kosovo to enhance its measures towards combating corruption in the police”, said Avdiu.

The respondents have provided mainly positive attitudes when considering public perceptions in Kosovo towards male and female police officers.

Given the current situation in the police and in particular the perceptions of public towards political influence and corruption risks, Avdiu and Vrajolli from the KCSS have recommended that the independence of the operational work of the Kosovo Police should be ensured. Internal control mechanisms of the police, as well as the Police Inspectorate, should strengthen their respective activities towards prevention and fight police corruption.

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.

TAGS: AdvocacyCivil SocietyCorruptionExternal OversightKosovoPerceptionPristina