Serbian Police: Troubled Transition from Police Force to Police Service
Frequent disruptions of historical and political continuity in Serbia have been reflected in the organization of the police. In 1990s under the rule of Slobodan Milošević the police were the pillar of the regime, whose main task was not to serve and protect the people, but to support the political regime.
After democratic changes in October 2000 as a part of the overall social reform, the reform of the Ministry of Interior was launched immediately. Cornerstone challenges of this reform were flagged as the four “Ds”—depoliticization, decentralization, decriminalization, and demilitarization. Mainly positive remarks would be heard in the statements and presentations from the official sources while foreign experts, national independent researchers, and NGOs are very critical of the reform results.
Serbia is still not a consolidated democracy, but rather, in a way, a weak state lacking basic political and national consensus even on “big issues.” For this reason, it is very hard to predict the future development in policing. It will depend on the development of the social and political situation and the moves of the EU and international community. A necessary prerequisite for speeding up the reform process in police and policing in general is a radical change in the way that the political leadership is managing the process of transition towards a modern and open society based upon the rule of law and a respect for human rights.
KeywordsPolice Officer Organize Crime Police Directorate Organizational Unit Private Security
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