SARAJEVO—Disperse information among police services and prosecution offices in the Western Balkans on human resources management and investigation tools is needed for fighting corruption, was the main conclusion of the debate organized by the Centre for Security Studies (CSS) on November 30 in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

There is a consensus among police representatives, prosecutors, judges and civil society activists on the need to compare different human resources strategies and anti-corruption models in the region and to assess the possibility of implementing them in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Practices for recruiting, managing, developing and optimizing the staff in the police are different in Bosnia and Herzegovina due to the existence of 16 police agencies, not counting their corresponding ministries and other police support agencies.

A common problem for all police related institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina is allowing police officers to advance in rank, but stay in the same work position. This demotivates police officers and negatively affect the service that is responsible for the protection of the society.

The shortage of police officers in noticed despite the fact that a number of policemen and policewomen is twice as big in Bosnia and Herzegovina compared to the EU average. There are approximately 16,000 police officers in Bosnia and Herzegovina or 453 per 100,000 inhabitants. The EU average in 2015 is 211.

Police agencies representative explained that will not be impossible to know the exact number of police officers that would decide to use the opportunity for early retirement because of recent changes in the Law on Pension and Disability Insurance.

A successful fight against corruption requires good and smooth cooperation between police inspectors and prosecutors whose work is based on solid investigation knowledge and techniques, which is connected with human resource management.

Both, police officers and prosecutors, agree that focus should be on increasing financial investigation skills and technical support. The aim is to collect the needed evidence and to increase their success rate. Consequently, the confidence of the population in these institutions will rise.

In regards to prosecuting police officers for criminal offenses, there was a consensus that there is no need for higher sanctions, as the legislation prescribes the lowest and highest sanctions for every offense and it is up to the judges.

It was also added that compared to civil servants, the threshold of the sanction for the loss of employment is much lower for police officers, thus adding an additional sanction to a convicted police officer in comparison to other citizens.

The CSS organized consultations with representatives of police agencies, prosecution, courts, and civil society in order to formulate recommendations for managing police effectively and to reach an adequate level of professionalism.

TAGS: AdvocacyBosnia and HerzegovinaCriminal LiabilityHuman ResourcesPolice ReformSarajevo