The Lithuanian Police system consists of:
- the Police Department under the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania;
- specialized police units;
- territorial police units;
- police professional training institution.
There are other law enforcement institutions to perform policing functions in particular fields:
- the Financial Crime Investigation Service under the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania;
- the State Border Guard Service under the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania;
- the Customs Criminal Service;
- the Special Investigation Service;
- the Public Security Service.
Functions and missions
The Lithuanian Police is a statutory organization, ensuring public order and safety, detecting and investigating the criminal deeds and other violations of law as well as rendering other social (humanitarian) aid for the people.
The main tasks of the Lithuanian Police are to:
- protect human rights and freedoms;
- ensure public safety, security and order;
- deliver emergency assistance to persons with physical or mental disabilities, as well as to victims of offences, administrative offences, emergencies or similar factors;
- prevent criminal and administrative offences;
- detect and investigate criminal and administrative offences;
- supervise vehicle traffic on roads.
Structure and organisation
- Police Department under the Ministry of the Interior
The Police Department under the Ministry of the Interior (further – the Police Department) is a police agency assisting to the Police Commissioner General of Lithuania to develop the strategy for the police activity and control its implementation, as well as to organize the management of the territorial police units. The Police Department ensures the implementation of the police functions ascribed to its competence, controls and coordinates the activity of subordinated police units, gives them recommendations and instructions, develops and implements common police activity and personnel policy of the subordinated police units, ensures the implementation of the state programmes in the police units, organizes the realization of the decisions of the Police Commissioner General of Lithuania as well as the control of their realization.
- Territorial police units
The Territorial Police Units carry out the functions ascribed them by the legal acts in the established territory. The Territorial Police Units consist of 10 County Police Headquarters and their sub-units - in total 49 Local Police Units:
- Specialized police units
The Specialized Police Units are the police units established on non-territorial principle, which carry out the certain (special) police functions assigned to them by the legal acts:
- The Lithuanian Criminal Police Bureau is tasked to prevent and detect serious and major crimes, criminal activities which arouse public interest, activities related to the functioning of criminal organizations, organized groups and their members, as well as to coordinate investigations.
Authority and responsibility of the Lithuanian Criminal Police Bureau:
- organize and pursue training with a view to develop special competences of criminal intelligence officers.
- provide necessary assistance in investigations of criminal offences conducted in territorial police agencies;
- coordinate and control activities of territorial police agencies in the fields of criminal intelligence and pre-trial investigation;
- participate in the framing and implementation of Lithuanian police strategy in the fields of criminal intelligence and pre-trial investigation;
- assure prevention, disclosure and investigation of serious and grave crimes of interregional and international character as well as high-profile criminal acts and offences that are seriously detrimental to the society or individuals;
- The Lithuanian Police Forensic Science Centre provides the integrated scientific and technical assistance to the officers of pre-trial institutions during the investigation of criminal activities and also their prevention. The Centre's experts examine crime scenes, find, note, and take traces and evidences of crimes, as well as other objects significant for the identification and investigation of crimes; perform laboratory research of traces of crimes and other objects by using scientific research equipment and modern research methods; collect and manage central criminal card files and collections and use them for the investigation of criminal activities. The Lithuanian Police Dog Training Centre, which organizes and coordinates the training of police dogs and their instructors, conducts investigations and scientific identification, has been incorporated into the Lithuanian Police Forensic Science Centre in 2007.
- The Lithuanian Police Antiterrorist Operations Unit „ARAS“ is a specialized police institution with the main tasks to carry out anti-terrorist and hostage rescue operations. Unit „ARAS“ is comprised of Special Team, Explosive Search and Neutralization Division and 3 companies, one of them located in Klaipėda. Unit “ARAS” is fully responsible for anti-terrorist operations on Lithuanian soil and acts in accordance with national laws, European Union legal acts and international treaties, carries out Joint Anti-terrorist Operations with counter-terrorism units of European Union and/or associated member states of Schengen.
The main functions of the Lithuanian Police Antiterrorist Operations Unit “ARAS” are as follows:
organize, manage and implement special anti-terrorist and hostage rescue operations;
- participate in organizing and implementing plans and programs for anti-terrorist measures, and other legal acts establishing terrorism prevention.
- gather and analyze information related to terrorist threats;
- perform crisis negotiations;
- carry out Joint Anti-terrorist Operations with counter-terrorism units of European Union and/or associated member states of Schengen in the territories of the Republic of Lithuania and the EU Member States;
- search for and neutralize improvised explosive devices and military explosives, used for terrorist or criminal purposes;
- detain dangerous armed criminals under extreme or high-risk circumstances;
- The Lithuanian Road Police Service supervises the traffic on the roads of the Republic of Lithuania, escorts the heads of foreign states, governments and other official delegations, as well as fulfils other special functions ascribed to by the legal acts on a country-wide scale and based on the non-territorial principle.
- The Lithuanian Police School is an institution of police vocational training, implementing the initial as well as further training of the police personnel. The vision of the Lithuanian Police School is to develop into a modern vocational training institution that ensures the qualified initial training of the police officers, as well as their professional improvement. The mission of the Lithuanian Police School is to offer the training and education to young people to perform the professional police officer’s duties, continually improve the police officers’ competencies by providing them the professional knowledge and developing the practical skills necessary for their future professional activities, to promote the irreproachable image of a police officer, as well as to serve to the public.
The police activity is regulated by the Police Law of the Republic of Lithuania.
The general management and control of the Lithuanian Police is the responsibility of the Police Commissioner General of Lithuania, who is appointed for a period of 5 years and dismissed by the President of the Republic of Lithuania upon suggestion by the Minister of the Interior and approved by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania. The Police Commissioner General of Lithuania is directly subordinated to the Minister of the Interior and accountable to the President of the Republic of Lithuania.
Financial Crime Investigation Service
Functions and missions
The mission of the Financial Crime Investigation Service (FCIS) is to protect the state financial system by disclosing criminal actions and other violations of law.
The goal of the FCIS is to elaborate methods of combating criminal activities against the State financial system. Pursuing this goal FCIS takes an active part in the implementation of the National programme of crime prevention and control and the National programme of combating corruption. The Service pursues its goal implementing the operative measures, disclosing and conducting the pre-trial investigation and prevention of criminal acts, implementing the measures of combating money laundering, and the means, which warranty the legitimacy of the receiving and use of the financial support funds of the European Union and other countries, performing the expertise of one's commercial and financial activity and submitting the specialist's conclusion on it, as well as the measures, providing the possibility to recover the hidden taxes, striving that this activity would influence as much as possible the actual revenue payable to the state budget.
The FCIS is a law enforcement institution accountable to the Ministry of the Interior with the purpose to detect and investigate crimes against the national financial system.
The FCIS has a central headquarters in Vilnius and four regional units.
The FCIS is the main Lithuanian institution responsible for coordination of anti-money laundering activities. It serves as a Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) in Lithuania and is an active member of the FIU.NET and Egmont Group.
Since 2002, the FCIS has been appointed an institution responsible for co-operation with the European Anti-fraud Office. It performs the role of an Anti-Fraud Co-ordination Service (AFCOS) in Lithuania.
Money laundering and terrorist financing prevention measures are aimed at creating an effective national anti-money laundering system. The FCIS is the main state institution responsible for co-ordination of cooperation of the institutions related to the implementation of money laundering prevention measures.
Activities of the FCIS are regulated by the Law on the Financial Crime Investigation Service establishing the principles and legal basis of its activities, the tasks and functions, control of the activities, the framework for the inter-institutional cooperation, powers, rights and duties, liability of employees, financing and other matters.
State Border Guard Service
Functions and missions
The main tasks of the State Border Guard Service under the Ministry of the Interior (SBGS) are:
- within the scope of its competence, to implement international agreements, laws and other legal acts of the Republic of Lithuania establishing the legal regulations of the State border;
- within the scope of its competence, to prevent, detect and investigate criminal activities and other violations of law, protect human rights and freedoms and ensure public peace and security;
- to guard the State border on land, in the sea, in the Curonian Lagoon and in frontier inland waters;
- to exert control over persons and means of transport crossing the State border;
- to enforce the regulations of the frontier and, within the scope of its competence, the regulations of border crossing points;
- to enforce the regulations of environmental protection at State border protection facilities and control the use of natural resources in the frontier zone;
- within the scope of its competence, to take part in the enforcement of customs regulations;
- to take part in the implementation of State control over migration;
- to take part in search and rescue activities in the sea, in the Curonian Lagoon and in frontier inland waters;
- to take part in ensuring public peace and implement other law enforcement functions in the frontier zone;
- to defend the State in time of war as an integral part of the military forces;
- to implement other functions established by laws and other legal acts.
Structure and organisation
The SBGS is structured into several districts and units:
- Ignalina Frontier District
- Vilnius Frontier District
- Varėna Frontier District
- Lazdijai Frontier District
- Pagėgiai Frontier District
- Coast Guard District
- Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant Security Brigade
- Border Guards School
- Foreigners Registration Centre
- Aviation Unit
- Special Assignments Brigade
New border guards are trained at the Border Guards School, which is a vocational education institution which trains qualified officials for SBGS units and provides advanced professional training for border guards. Additionally, middle-rank SBGS officers are trained at the Lithuanian Law University following the ‘Law and State Border Guard’ curriculum. The department includes a State Border Guard Chair. The studies take four years and can be joined on a competitive basis by persons, who must meet the requirements equal to those established for entry in the Border Guards School. Successful graduates obtain higher education and receive a bachelor’s degree. They are appointed to positions of specialists at SBGS units. The studies may be completed by correspondence by State officials employed at the SBGS, who are selected on a competitive basis.
The SBGS falls under the authority of the Ministry of the Interior, which supervises and controls the implementation of border guard policy. The Law on the State Border Guard Service establishes tasks and functions of the SBGS and the rights and responsibilities of the SBGS personnel.
Special Investigation Service
Functions and missions
Special Investigation Service of the Republic of Lithuania (STT) is a main anti-corruption law enforcement agency of the Republic of Lithuania accountable to the President of the Republic and the Seimas (Parliament). It was established in 1997.
The key areas of the STT activities are criminal investigations and criminal intelligence due to corruption-related crimes, corruption prevention, anti-corruption education and analytical anti-corruption intelligence.
The objective of the STT is to reduce corruption as a threat to human rights and freedoms, the principles of the rule of law and economic development.
In the criminal investigation and criminal intelligence area, the STT detects and investigates corruption-related cases including bribery, trading in influence, graft and other offences committed in the public administration sector or while providing public services for the purpose of obtaining benefits for oneself or other persons: abuse of authority or misuse of powers, abuse of official authority, tampering with documents and measuring devices, fraud, misappropriation or embezzlement of property, disclosure of an official secret, disclosure of a commercial secret, misrepresentation of information about income, profit or property, legitimisation of the proceeds of crime, interference with the activities of a civil servant or a person discharging public administration functions, or other criminal acts, if those are committed with the aim of seeking or demanding a bribe, offering a bribe and concealing or covering up the act of taking or offering a bribe.
In the area of corruption prevention, the main tasks of STT are the anticorruption-focused review of legislation, risk assessment of the most corruption-prone areas and development of preventive measures including anticorruption policies and action plans. The STT is an active participant in developing the national anticorruption programme and other anti-corruption measures. Moreover, the STT acts as a central body in coordinating and monitoring the implementation of the national anticorruption programme and other anti-corruption measures.
In the area of anticorruption education and public awareness raising, the STT provides methodological assistance to the development of a specialised anticorruption training for general schools and universities and civil service. Through the mass media and other channels the Special Investigation Service shall inform the public about the enforcement of corruption control and prevention programmes and measures, and the anti-corruption activities carried out by central and local government institutions and agencies.
Analytical anti-corruption intelligence means analytical activity carried out by the Special Investigation Service that includes collection, processing and collation of information on corruption and the related phenomena with other public or classified information available to the Special Investigation Service, as well as receiving, using and providing of qualitatively new data that is the result of processing this information to the Government and municipal agencies and officers authorised to make decisions significant in terms of reduction of the spread of corruption.
The STT operates at international level to strive for common benefits in the fight against corruption and strengthening of corruption prevention and public awareness raising areas. STT encourages international cooperation among the interested parties, related anticorruption institutions and international organisations, shares it best practices and takes over the best practices from the others. Also the STT exchanges experience and information in the field of corruption investigation, corruption prevention and anticorruption education and strengthen institutional capacity: participates in conferences, seminars, training and important international projects.
The international interest in the experience of the STT is steadily increasing. The STT cooperates with many international organizations and participate in their activities (Organizaitions such as Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Anti-Corruption Network for Eastern Europe and Central Asia (OECD ACN), European Partners Against Corruption (EPAC) and the European Union (EU) Contact-point Network Against Corruption (EACN), European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), The Council of Europe's Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO), The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and others).
VIP Protection Department
Activities of the VIP Protection Department are based on the following principles: the rule of law, legitimacy, observation of human rights and freedoms, equality of persons before the law, parity, compatibility between publicity and confidentiality, service discipline and political neutrality.
Functions and missions
The main task of the VIP Protection Department is to ensure the protection of state leaders, persons substituting for the Chairman of the Seimas and the Prime Minister, members of their families, official guests visiting the Republic of Lithuania and other persons against attempts on their lives and/or health and the protection of the objects protected.
The VIP Protection Department:
- organizes and carries out the protection of the persons protected, coordinates actions of the services under the Ministry of the Interior and other institutions assisting in ensuring the security of the persons and facilities protected and within the scope of its competence is responsible for the security of the persons and objects protected;
- across the borders of the Republic of Lithuania, ensures only the close protection of the state leaders. The framework for the protection of the state leaders across the borders of the Republic of Lithuania is established in the international legislation;
- performs criminal intelligence activities to ensure the accomplishment of the tasks assigned in accordance with the procedure established by the legislation and to the extent defined by the Government;
- carries out preventive activities with regard to terrorist acts against the persons and facilities protected in accordance with the procedure established by the legislation and within the scope of its competence;
- establishes and ensures a special regime in the facilities protected;
- while monitoring the access of persons lawfully carrying arms, parts of firearms or ammunition to the protected facilities, provides for a possibility to leave arms, parts of firearms or ammunition for temporary storage during the visit to the facility in accordance with the procedure established by the Director of the VIP Protection Department;
- collects, accumulates, analyses and summarises information related to the tasks accomplished and functions performed.
Public Security Service
The Public Security Service under the Ministry of the Interior (Public Security Service) is an institution of special permanent preparedness and, as one of the subject ensuring the national security of Lithuania. The strategic goal of the Public Security Service is to restore public order in cases of special and emergency situations, to conduct convoying and to ensure the protection of important state objects.
Functions and missions
The main functions of Public Security Service are as follows:
- restore public order;
- to ensure public security during extreme and emergency situations;
- organize and conduct convoying;
- ensure the protection of important state objects; to defend the state of Lithuania in case of war.
Cyber Security Council (C-Council)/Cyber Security Centre (NCC)
Functions and missions
The Cyber Security Council (C-Council) is a national level advisory group on cybersecurity policy chaired by the Ministry of National Defence, MoND and includes representatives from the public, private, and academic sectors. The main functions of the C-Council are:
- to prepare and submit proposals to the cybersecurity Community of Interest (CoI) regarding priorities, areas of focus for further activity, propose goals and means to achieve them;
- to prepare and submit proposals to the CoI for a wider public, private and research cooperation in the area of cybersecurity;
- to analyse cybersecurity implementation methods and provide the CoI proposals for more effective management of cyber incidents; and
- to submit the CoI with recommendations for strengthening cybersecurity.
Also under the MoND, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCC) is in direct contact with the public sector and with the operators of critical information infrastructure. The NCC manages the cybersecurity information sharing network which is used to exchange cybersecurity-related information among the community of interest (CoI). The NCC also maintains a system of sensors to monitor cyberspace with a focus on protection of critical information infrastructure. According to the law, each institution is responsible for appointing a cybersecurity officer or creation of a cybersecurity unit which also acts as a point of contact for liaison with the NCC. Cybersecurity incidents occurring in the institution are required to be reported to the NCC. The NCC has the legal right to instruct managers of public sector institutions and CII operators within its authority in responding to a reported cyber incident.
The Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA) already has responsibilities mandated according to the Law on Communications for regulating the communications sector and operates a National CERT as previously authorized by the Government. According to the new cybersecurity law, the CRA’s CERT now has a direct relationship with hosting services, communications and internet service providers. It has the legal right to instruct service providers within its authority in responding to a reported cyber incident.
Criminal Justice System
A court system of the Republic of Lithuania is made up of courts of general jurisdiction and courts of special jurisdiction.
The Supreme Court of Lithuania (1), the Court of Appeal of Lithuania (1), regional courts (5) and district courts (12) are courts of general jurisdiction dealing with civil and criminal cases. District courts also hear cases of administrative offences coming within their jurisdiction by law. The regional courts, the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court of Lithuania have the Civil Division and the Criminal Division.
A district court is the first instance for criminal, civil cases and cases of administrative offences (assigned to its jurisdiction by law), cases assigned to the jurisdiction of mortgage judges, as well as cases relating to the enforcement of decisions and sentences. Judges of a district court also perform the functions of a pre-trial judge, an enforcement judge, as well as other functions assigned to a district court by law.
A regional court is the first instance for criminal and civil cases assigned to its jurisdiction by law, and appeal instance for judgements, decisions, rulings and orders of district courts. The Chairman of a regional court organises and controls the administrative activities of district courts and their judges within the territory of his activities in accordance with the procedure prescribed by law.
The Court of Appeal is an appeal instance for cases heard by regional courts as courts of the first instance.
The Supreme Court of Lithuania is the only court of cassation instance for reviewing effective judgements, decisions, rulings and orders of the courts of general jurisdiction. It develops a uniform court practice in the interpretation and application of laws and other legal acts.
The Prosecution Service of the Republic of Lithuania comprises the Office of the Prosecutor General and territorial prosecutor’s offices.
The Prosecutor General is appointed and dismissed from office by the President of the Republic, with the consent of the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania.
Functions of the Prosecution Service of the Republic of Lithuania:
- organises and directs pre-trial investigation;
- controls the activities of pre-trial investigation officers in criminal proceedings;
- prosecutes on behalf of the State;
- supervises the submission of the judgements for enforcement and the enforcement thereof;
- co-ordinates the actions of the pre-trial investigation bodies;
- conducts pre-trial investigation or individual actions of pre-trial investigation;
- protects the public interest;
- examines petitions, applications and complaints submitted by individuals;
- takes part in the drawing up and implementation of national and international crime prevention programmes;
- takes part in the legislative process.