Participation of citizens in police work control
Učešće građana u kontroli rada policije
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The control of police represents one of the most important criteria based on which we make estimates to what extent a society is founded on the principles of legal state, since it provides for respecting of principles of equality of all citizens in the eyes of the law. The participation of citizens in the control of police work may contribute to the prevention and suppression of misuses of power or exceeding of someone’s authorizations, especially to suppression of corruption and prevention of use of excessive force by law enforcement officers. In the paper the citizen control of police work means legally and by other regulations provided possibility to engage the representatives of citizens during the procedure of examining the justification of petitions and complaints submitted against law enforcement officers. The purpose of such a form of citizen engagement is to prevent the possibility of covering up criminal acts and other punishable behaviors within police, i.e. hiding police of...ficers who support the distrust of the public in police work by their illicit and immoral acting. These are primarily some criminal acts against the line of duty (bribe-taking misconduct in office, and similar) and the crimes against freedoms and rights of citizens (extortion of a statement, cruelty and torturing, illegal arrest breach of domicile, and similar). Supervision by citizens should particularly remove a public doubt in legality and appropriateness of measures and weapons of coercion undertaken and used by the police, especially to prevent conflict with the members of ethnic, religious and other minority groups towards whom the law enforcement officers applied their repressive powers. In addition to this, joint engagement of citizens and police officers in solving the petitions should enable the objective determination of causes of mutual conflicts, as well as determining the recommendations to improve the tactics of police officer acting. The experiences of the Great Britain, the United States of America and other Anglo-Saxon countries that have a developed practice of engaging citizens in examining justification of petitions against the police work may be useful in the process of legal regulation of this field in other countries as well. This is why a special attention is paid to the experiences of the leading countries such as the Great Britain and the USA. These experiences show that citizen boards for police work control have various competences and authorizations. With regards to real competence, we may come across the examples where citizen boards are entitled to examine the justification of all complaints submitted against police officers, regardless of their seriousness, but also the examples where their competence refers to complaints for abuse and exceeding of one’s powers with serious consequences. The competences of citizen boards are mostly advising in character, although they can be obliging (executive). The main arguments against the participation of citizens in police work control are endangering the principle of single-seniority in management, which may lead to the drop of overall efficiency of police work, insufficient knowledge of authorizations and tactics of conduct of police officers, the possibility to protect freedoms and rights by other legal means and similar. The participation of citizens in the control of police work in the Republic of Serbia is provided for by the new Law on Police. They participate in boards of second instance in the procedure of determining discipline responsibility of police officers and control of police work by solving the complaints. According to the Law a representative of the public is appointed by the Minister and this representative participates as one of the three members of the board in solving the complaints, while the other two members are law enforcement officers.
Kontrola policije je jedan od najvažnijih kriterijuma za procenjivanje mere u kojoj neko društvo počiva na principima pravne države jer se njom obezbeđuje poštovanje načela jednakosti svih građana pred zakonom. Učešće građana u kontroli rada policije može doprineti sprečavanju i suzbijanju zloupotreba i prekoračenja ovlašćenja, a naročito suzbijanju korupcije i sprečavanju prekomerne upotrebe prinude od strane pripadnika policije. U radu se pod kontrolom policije od strane građana podrazumeva zakonom i drugim pravnim propisima predviđena mogućnost angažovanja predstavnika građana u postupku ispitivanja osnovanosti predstavki i pritužbi podnetih protiv pripadnika policije. Dat je uporedan prikaz iskustava vodećih anglosaksonskih zemalja - Velike Britanije i Sjedinjenih Američkih Država, u kontroli policije od strane građana, koja mogu biti korisna prilikom zakonskog normiranja te oblasti u drugim zemljama, kao i prikaz argumenata protiv uvođenja takve prakse. Na kraju je dat prikaz učeš...ća građana u kontroli policije u Republici Srbiji prema novom Zakonu o policiji.
Keywords:kontrola policije / nadzorni odbori građana / postupak rešavanja predstavki
Source:Nauka, bezbednost, policija, 2006, 11, 2, 135-152
- Kriminalističko- policijska akademija, Beograd