This country profile was migrated from the legacy system and the new text is under consideration of the respective government authorities.
Policing overview: Overall policing falls under the jurisdiction of the General Police Directorate in the Ministry of the Interior. Specialized agencies include the Security Information Agency, the Tax Police and the Customs Administration.
Ministry of the Interior
1. General information
The Ministry of the Interior is in charge of public security.
2. Functions and missions
The main function of the police is to protect life, rights, freedom and personal integrity of individuals; to support the rule of law; protect property; prevent, detect and solve criminal offences and violations; to combat crime and its organized and other forms; identify and arrest the perpetrators of criminal offences and violations; maintain public order; offer help in case of danger; to regulate, control and oversee traffic; secure public events, persons, organs, buildings and areas; to survey and protect the state border; to control state border crossings; implement the border area regime; identify and settle border incidents; to accomplish tasks set out by the regulations on aliens.
3. Structure and organization
The Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Serbia consists of several organizational units summarized by the organization chart in the Attachments section. In addition, the General Police Directorate of the Ministry of the Interior consists of 15 organizational units at the headquarters of the Ministry and 27 Regional Police Directorates.
There are 48 police substations at the headquarters of the regional police directorates, and 161 police stations in the municipalities outside of the headquarters.
The General Police Directorate also comprises specialized police stations and substations:
- the traffic police substations (49 in total, 8 thereof for traffic control at the ''Corridor 10'' section of the motorway), and
- the border police stations- to control crossings of the state border (34) and to secure the state border (28).
4. Staff data
As of September 30, 2006 total staff of the Ministry of the Interior numbered 42,740. As for gender division, 80.04% were male and 19.96% (8,533) were female. The number of uniformed police officers was 26,527, 1,833 thereof being female (6.9%).
5. Education / Training
As of 2006, the following institutions provided education to police personnel, but the entire official police education system is being restructured and therefore information is likely to evolve:
- Police High School in Sremska Kamenica: Four year course;
- Police College in Zemun: Three year course; currently 30% of the students are female;
- Police Academy in Belgrade: Four year university level course; there is a 10% enrolment quota for females;
- Other education and training: Basic Policing Course (six months for men, four months for women) at the Kula and Kursumlijska Banja training centres, as well as specialized courses at state universities for traffic police, gendarmerie, border police, etc.
In June 2006, the Criminal and Police Academy was formed by integration of the Police College and the Police Academy. The first generation of students enrolled in the school year 2006/2007.
The Police High school is currently being transformed into the Basic Level Police Training Centre.
The Minister of the Interior submits reports every six months or upon special request. Through the Committee for Defence and Security, the National Parliament has the capacity to monitor police activities. Civil society, NGOs, the media, and the Ombudsperson also play a role in oversight.
As for internal oversight mechanisms, the Sector for Internal Control of the Police responds to complaints and grievances, determines the facts, reports to the Minister of the Interior and the Police Director and proposes corrections of the irregularities identified. The Bureau for Complaints and Grievances, within the Cabinet of the Minister of the Interior, has similar tasks and works closely with the Sector for Internal Control of the Police.
Criminal Justice System
1. General information
The role of the police within the criminal justice system is to prevent, detect, investigate and solve misdemeanors, felonies and other violations, including organized crime, war crimes and other crimes. It also includes finding and apprehending perpetrators of criminal offences, as well as other persons wanted by the authorities, and bringing them to justice.
The co-operation mechanisms between the police, prosecutor and investigating judge, provided in the Criminal Procedure Code and contained within the framework of provisions governing pre-trial proceedings, include:
- filing criminal charges with the relevant public prosecutor by the police and, when the prosecutor accepts these charges, sending a request to the investigating judge to conduct an investigation;
- finding sufficient evidence to support an indictment;
- detecting the criminal offence, apprehending the perpetrator, securing evidence, and collecting all information pertinent to the proceedings, at the initiative of the law enforcement authority itself or at the order of the investigating judge before and after the filing of criminal charges;
- undertaking investigations on the instructions of the investigating judge, if the information contained in the criminal charges does not provide probable cause for instituting an investigation;
- when there is sufficient evidence to support an indictment, returning the file and all documents from the investigative judge to the prosecutor who then drafts an indictment. The investigative judge’s role ends at this point.
The new Criminal Procedure Code gives substantially more authority and responsibility during the investigative phase of the procedure to the public prosecutor. It is s/he who decides upon the opening and closing of an investigation, assumes most of the prerogatives from the investigative judge, retains decision-making power regarding detention and appeals, and undertakes procedural actions upon the prosecutor's request.