This country profile was migrated from the legacy system and the new text is under consideration of the respective government authorities.
Policing overview: The main policing institution is the Lithuanian Police. The Lithuanian Police system consists of the Police Department under the Ministry of the Interior; specialized police units; territorial police units and police professional training institutions. There are other law enforcement institutions to perform policing functions in particular fields: Financial Crime Investigation Service under the Ministry of the Interior; State Border Guard Service under the Ministry of the Interior; Customs Criminal Service; Special Investigation Service; State Security Department; and Military Police.
The police activity is regulated by the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on the Police Activities adopted in 2000.
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.
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 police, in compliance with the laws and other legal acts, impartially protect all people within the territory of the Republic of Lithuania, regardless of their nationality, race, sex, language, origin, social status, religious beliefs, convictions or views. The police activities are based on democracy, respect for human rights and freedom, humanism, morals of society, lawfulness, professional openness.
The main tasks of the Lithuanian Police are to:
- protect human rights and freedoms;
- ensure public order and safety;
- render emergency assistance to the people when it is necessary because of their physical or mental helplessness, as well as to the people who have suffered from the criminal deeds, other violations of law, natural calamities or similar deeds;
- prevent criminal deeds and other violations of law;
- detect and investigate criminal deeds and other violations of law;
- control traffic safety.
According to the other laws the Lithuanian Police could be ascribed with the other tasks.
Structure and organization
1. 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.
The Police Department is established by the Government.
2. 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 subunits - 49 Local Police Units:
- The County Police Headquarters are established in the county centers and ensure the implementation of the police tasks in the whole county territory. Their functions are to co-ordinate and, in the manner prescribed by the establishment and other legal documents, control activities of lower level local police units within their territory; to submit to the Police Commissioner General of Lithuania the draft budgets for all police units within their territory; to implement other tasks and functions provided for in the establishment and other legal documents, and report on their implementation to the Police Commissioner General of Lithuania;
- The Local Police Units are established in the administrative centers of municipalities to serve within the territory of appropriate municipalities. The Local Police Units ensure the public safety and order; taking into account the needs of the local population and together with the local authorities, public organizations and residents, draw up and implement the programmes for crime prevention; protection of lives, health and property of the population; as well as public order; prevent criminal deeds and other violations of law, detect and investigate criminal deeds and other violations of law; submit the draft budgets to the Heads of Police Headquarters; implement tasks and functions assigned to their competence, set by the establishment and other legal documents etc.
3. 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 - 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 co-ordinate investigations. The officers of the Lithuanian Criminal Police Bureau conduct searches for missing people, and those hiding from the institutions of law enforcement and courts, in respect to which the pre-trial investigations were started within the subdivisions of the Bureau. The Bureau consists of the several divisions, such as the Organized Crime Investigation Unit; the Crime Investigation Unit (identifies and represses crime) the Operational Activity Unis (undertakes various operative measures, and collects, stores and analyses the information on committed or intended crimes and suspected people. It also executes the special operational support measures (e.g. surveillance, interception etc)); the Witness and Victims Protection Unit (ensures the integrated protection of witnesses and victims from the criminal pressure, the implementation of operative measures throughout the country and, on the basis of the international treaties, outside Lithuania); the Corruption Control Board; the International Liaison Office; the Information Analysis Board. The International Liaison Office of the Lithuanian Criminal Police Bureau ensures and implements the practical police co-operation on the international level. This service consists of the Lithuanian National Interpol Unit (in November, 1991, at the General Session of Interpol in Uruguay, Lithuania was admitted to this international criminal police organization. On November 30, 1991, the Lithuanian National Interpol Unit was officially established), SIRENE National Unit and Europol National Unit (on May 1, 2003, Lithuania became a full Europol member). The Office represents the Lithuanian Police in its activities within the Task Force project, which is aimed at the fight against the organized crime throughout the states of the Baltic Sea region.
- 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 professionals of the Centre examine the crime scenes, find, note, and take samples of the criminal activities and traces of crimes as well as other objects significant for the identification and investigation of the 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. Since year 2007 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.
- The Lithuanian Police Antiterrorist Operations Team „ARAS“ - operates in the territory of the Republic of Lithuania, conducts the special operations, which need the use of purposeful, armed, special techniques and use of force. The main tasks of the Team are to carry out the anti-terrorist operations, operations to release the hostages and the detention of dangerous criminals which require specially trained forces as well as the use of special techniques and equipment. The Team searches for and neutralises homemade and military explosives, which could be used for the terrorist purposes.
- 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 fulfills other special functions ascribed to by the legal acts on a country-wide scale and based on the non-territorial principle.
- The Lithuanian Public Police Team „VYTIS“ - ensures the public order around the diplomatic offices of foreign countries and protected objects, patrols around the protected objects within its competence, conducts the prevention of crime and other offences, as well as supervises the traffic, protects the lawful interests and asset of citizens, institutions and organizations.
4. Police professional training institutions
The Police Professional Training Institutions are the police professional training divisions, established by the Police Commissioner General of Lithuania, which ensure the constant professional improvement of the police officers.
The Lithuanian Police School‘s mission is to provide the further training for carrying out the professional skills. The aim is to exam the professional skills and training needs of the police officers; to develop the qualification of the police staff for efficient, professional and ethical fulfillment of police tasks; to improve the most progressive and effective training methods; to prepare police officers for their duties in the environment of the European Union.
The Lithuanian Police School is an institution of police vocational training, implementing the initial as well as further training of the police personnel. The vocational training is one of the most significant stages of education providing the special professional knowledge and skills. 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.
Mykolas Romeris University, Faculty of Public Security is organizing the university level studies in accordance to the Law and Police and Policing programs. These studies can be entered by the students, who match the police officers requirements. The students graduate with a Bachelor’s in Law or Bachelor’s in Public Security degree and are engaged into the post or mid-ranking police officers.