Independent civilian police supervision cannot conduct police officials

Since the civilian supervision of the police officials work should be independent, the Ombudswoman sent to the relevant parliamentary committees her opinion on the Draft amendments to the Police Act, whereby the citizens’ complaints on police treatment would be objectively considered by an independent body.

Namely, the Draft law envisages that the Commission for Civilian Police Supervision consists also of two representatives of the Ministry of Interior (MUP), nominated by the minister himself who prescribes the working method and complaint’s handling. Instead, the Ombudswoman proposes that the Croatian parliament prescribes all stipulations essential for the Commission’s work as well as the administrative and technical details whereby the Commission’s independence would be additionally strengthened in relation to MUP.

Importance of the independent civilian supervision of the police work is evident from the concrete cases in which MUP largely considered that the police officers performed their duties legally, contrary to the objective and expert opinions indicated that during the police treatment of citizens all legal orders were not respected. For example, during 2016 the Internal Supervision like many years before, less than 10% of complaints considered completely or partly grounded. However, the former Commission for Civilian Police Supervision, though in less favourable work conditions, found more than 20% of complaints to be grounded.