SARAJEVO—Even though the trust in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s police agencies has increased by four percent compared to last year, citizens believe that the police is highly corrupt and politicized.

This year’s results show that 51 percent of citizens trust the police related to last year’s 47 percent, it was highlighted in the public opinion survey results presented by the POINTPULSE network and Centre for Security Studies on November 6, 2018, in Sarajevo.

Political parties and politicians have an overwhelming influence on the work of the police for eight of ten citizens (70%), regardless of the slight increase in trust.

Corruption is still widespread within the police structures for two-thirds of citizens in Bosnia and Herzegovina, said Sanjin Hamidičević from the Centre for Security Studies.

“For 95 percent of respondents corruption is damaging the work of the police, then largely affects their perception of security, and significantly reflects on the way of candidates’ selection and employment in police structures, where the friend or family relations and political connections come to the greatest extent possible”, emphasized Hamidičević.

Citizens seem to believe that Bosnia and Herzegovina are losing the fight against corruption having in mind high perception of corruption in prosecution, customs, courts and the police, institutions that should be a ‘barrier’ to this phenomenon.

It is necessary to foster strengthening anti-corruption mechanism and to show tangible results, concluded Hamidičević.

The largest number of citizens considers that fight against police corruption is a matter of the internal control, anti-corruption agencies, governments, and the interior ministers.

Citizens perceived tight penal policy as the most needed mechanism for fighting police corruption, including more severe punishment of perpetrators and corrupted police officers.

According to Hamidičević, the fact of great concern is that almost 60 percent of citizens in Bosnia and Herzegovina believe that there will be no change in the fight against corruption and that it will even get worse.

When it comes to the perception of security, the survey shows that more than half of the respondents (51%) in Bosnia and Herzegovina feel safe.

“Citizens of the Republika Srpska entity (59%) feel somewhat safer than the citizens in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (47%), or in the Brčko District of BiH (35%). In relation to the ethnic structure, the Serbs feel the safest (59%), followed by Bosniaks (49%) and Croats (42%)”, said Mirela Hodović from the Centre for Security Studies.

In the Western Balkans, the citizens of Montenegro and Serbia feel the safest, where this percentage is about 60 percent, while the citizens of Albania feel the least safe, concluded Hodović.

IPSOS Strategic Marketing gathered the data in Bosnia and Herzegovina in September 2018 on a sample of 1.005 adult citizens and the Centre for Security Studies interpreted results. A questionnaire created by the POINTPULSE network was used as a research instrument and interviews were conducted using the “face to face” technique, which involves direct contact with respondents.

This is the fourth round of public opinion surveys conducted by the POINTPULSE network in order to examine citizens’ views on security, police, and corruption. The research was carried out in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, Serbia, and Kosovo.

TAGS: Bosnia and HerzegovinaCorruptionExternal OversightPanel DiscussionPerceptionSarajevo