Wednesday, 24 August 2022

Communication Manual for Police Officers Issued in Split

August 24, 2022 - The more trust citizens have in the police or the more convinced they are that the police work in their interest, the more willing they are to respect police decisions and work with the police in a common interest.

As Poslovni writes, the Split-Dalmatia police issued a communication manual for police officers, unique in Croatia, in which they are advised on how to make a first impression on citizens, how to talk to them, and what not to do.

The manual also explains the interview procedure at the police station, how to conduct an interview with victims of violence, what to do when a disgruntled citizen addresses them and how to react when the situation escalates.

The manual, authored by the head of the Trogir police station, Marko Doljanin, was distributed to all police stations in the county and can be read on the website of the police department.

Doljanin said for Hina that communication skills are an essential element in the successful performance of police work.

He believes that relations between citizens and the police are created in communication, that is, a relationship of trust is either established or not, and citizens' trust in the police is a necessary precondition for the successful performance of police work.

The more trust citizens have in the police or the more convinced they are that the police work in their interest, the more willing they are to respect police decisions and work together with the police in some common interest.

“Colleagues in the field say that the manual helps, and we also received praise from citizens who expressed their satisfaction with the work of the police officers. When a citizen feels the need to write about it and send it to us, it means that they were touched by the exchange and that they noticed that the communication was professional”, said Doljanin.

Split police spokeswoman Antonela Lolić said that they realised that they could help their colleagues, especially young police officers, with a manual right at the beginning of their career, because they believe that communication is something that they can always improve.

She stated that the first impression citizens have about the police is based on how they are approached, what they are asked, and what interest is shown.

The idea for ​​the Communication Manual for Police Officers came to the head of the Trogir station, Marko Doljanin, by looking at his biggest dilemmas and what could be improved to make police work better and to ensure that citizens are more satisfied.

“He collected materials from his own and other experiences, and now we have a booklet as a reminder to our police officers of the most common situations they find themselves in and the correct ways to act in them”, said Lolić.

The Ministry of the Interior is also satisfied with the communication manual for police officers, which was financed by the Security Committee of the Split-Dalmatia County, where they confirmed that it has the potential to be widely used in the Croatian police, at the same time confirming that it is the first of its kind in Croatia.

For more, check out our dedicated Lifestyle section.

Thursday, 4 August 2022

American Policeman Working in Split Praises Country's Safety

August the 4th, 2022 - An American policeman working in Split temporarily as part of an exchange of officers the Croatian police have been involved in for years now has praised the sheer safety of the country when compared to his homeland.

As Jutarnji list/SD writes, for the first time this summer season, a police officer from the United States was placed to work temporarily here in Croatia. 30-year-old Jacob Bradley, an American policeman working in Split has been participating in international police cooperation as part of the "Safe Tourist Destination 2022" project.

Jacob has been a police officer for the past eleven years across the pond in America, and during his time he has worked in the migration and drugs department, as well as with the local community, according to a report from Slobodna Dalmacija. In addition to gaining more work experience by coming here, his comparison of police work here in Croatia compared to the USA was particularly interesting.

''Here it's completely different. When I'm patrolling, I don't have a weapon, I don't need it at all. In America, I don't go out in public without a bulletproof vest and a weapon on me. Here I just talk to people, they shake hands with us, and people are generally really happy to see us. Over in America, we deal with more violence and armed conflicts, and here I haven't even heard of such a thing, let alone participated in such an intervention,'' admitted Jacob. Participating in the arrest of a person in Croatia also left a special impression on him.

''Here the police say to someone: 'You need to come with us' and he goes without any resistance. Of course, that doesn't happen with absolutely everyone, but just looking at such a situation was incredible for me. This is a very safe place, one of the places I'd definitely visit with my family,'' the American policeman working in Split said with a smile. He will spend a total of two weeks in the City of Split. He has primarily been helping break down the language barrier between visitors from America and the local population or the police.

''It is however much easier for me to talk to Americans and I very quickly come to a solution to whatever the problem might be and we reach an understanding of what led to it. We're here to be there, to promote the fact that we're here and that Split is a great place to visit. There were several interventions, and the cause of some of them was just a misunderstanding,'' said the police officer from the USA, emphasising that he enjoyed his time spent here and plans to return next year.

The representative of the US Embassy, ​​Amy Davison, emphasised that they are very pleased to have become part of the programme that has been going on for seventeen years now.

''Our participation this year is a continuation of 30 years of cooperation with this country, so this is a very nice way to crown such an anniversary. Jacob told me that he learned a lot here, that's why this experience is valuable for him and we're extremely glad that this cooperation has come about,'' said Davison, adding that the American police officer is grateful for the welcome he had and that he was very well received. Jacob can safely say that Split is his absolute favourite city in all of Croatia.

In addition to this American policeman working in Split, t's worth noting that there are currently 20 officers from ten different countries of the world working on the territory of the Split-Dalmatia County police department at this moment in time, writes Slobodna Dalmacija.

''For us, all their previous experiences are a confirmation that the project is well thought out and that it will be realised this year as well, in a way that gives us the optimum utilisation of what we have planned. They help us build, confirm and maintain the image of Croatia as a safe destination, and this is exactly the goal of this project,'' concluded Slobodan Marendic, head of the Split-Dalmatia police department.

For more, make sure to check out out dedicated lifestyle section.

Monday, 4 July 2022

National Call Centre for Victims of Crimes Wins European Award

ZAGREB, 4 July 2022 - The National Call Centre for Victims of Crimes (NPC) has won the first European Award on Quality in Youth Volunteering, the Victim and Witness Support Service said on Monday.

The call centre offers free and confidential help and support to victims and witnesses, as well as their families, at the helpline 116 006, where victims and witnesses can receive legal and practical information, contact information of relevant institutions and organisations, and emotional support.

Since 2013, more than 13,000 callers have contacted the call centre.

Over 270 volunteers, most of whom are law, psychology and social work students, have received training to date, and together they have done over 40,000 hours of volunteer work.

For more, check out our politics section.

Saturday, 4 December 2021

Two Men Reported by Police Over COVID Rally in Šibenik

ZAGREB, 4 Dec, 2021 - Two men, both aged 59, were reported by the police for having organised a COVID rally in Šibenik on 1 December in contravention with the law on public assembly.

The rally of opponents of COVID certificates and anti-vaccine advocates was held in the centre of this Croatian coastal city from 1700 to 2000 hours on 1 December contrary to the relevant law and no anti-epidemic rules had been taken during the gathering.

According to some media reports, the two organisers mobilised an estimated 100 protesters, including a column of several bikers, in Šibenik's central square.

Police investigating several persons suspected of inciting to terrorism

The Police Directorate in Zagreb said on Friday that the law enforcement and prosecutorial authorities were investigating a number of persons suspected of publicly inciting to terrorism.

The police are investigating "actions which incite to undermining Croatia's fundamental constitutional, political, economic or social structures by attacking the physical integrity of other persons and public buildings."

According to media reports, several persons have been arrested, including Marko Francišković and Natko Kovačević, members of an organisation called Pravednik (Righteous).

Francišković spoke at recent protests against COVID certificates in Zagreb and Šibenik.

The police said the investigation was being conducted in Zadar, Šibenik-Knin and Lika-Senj counties as well as in Zagreb and Bjelovar.

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Monday, 11 October 2021

Božinović Says Waiting for Results of Investigation Into Violence Against Migrants

ZAGREB, 11 Oct 2021 - Interior Minister Davor Božinović on Monday said that he did not have any new information related to videos of police violence against migrants and that it is necessary to wait for the results of the investigation.

"We'll wait and see what the results of the investigation show. Everything that will happen as part of the relevant procedures will be in line with what the police chief said on Friday," Božinović told reporters.

Protecting the borders in line with the law

Asked about responsibility in the chain of command, Božinović underscored that the orders are to protect the state borders in line with the law.

"There cannot be any order that is not in line with the law. As soon as I receive the report from the police directorate, I will forward it to the prime minister, even though we have already discussed all this," said Božinović.

He said that police officers, particularly those assigned to border control, doing one of the most difficult jobs.

He added that there were cases when the police themselves identified cases of police officers overstepping their powers or unlawful conduct.

He said that disciplinary procedures had been underway from before against eight police officers and that 22 cases had been documented and submitted to the State Attorney's Office (DORH).

"When someone individually breaches or oversteps their authority anywhere, there are services in the police directorate and internal controls to conduct investigations and decide on the penalties," he said.

Commenting on an anonymous letter by a police officer who claimed two years ago that an order existed for violent pushbacks, Božinović reiterated that anything that was reported was always investigated. DORH rejected 13 of the 22 cases for lack of evidence, he said.

The anonymous police officer's letter refers to a specific case, with a specific location and date, which previously was not the case, said Božinović and added that a prompt reaction followed the anonymous letter and that the matter was still being investigated.

Božinović also commented on a recent drug incident in the Croatian Army, underscoring that police offices were exceptionally active regarding the fight against drug smuggling.

"The cocaine market is expanding into the general population, which is concerning. We will meet with the anti-drug commission in the next few days. In 2020, 60 kilograms of cocaine were confiscated whereas in the first eight months of this year more than 667 kilograms were seized," he said.

For more on politics, CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Interior Minister Davor Božinović Praises Police For Their Irreplaceable Role in Many Segments

ZAGREB, 29 Sept, 2021 - Addressing the central ceremony of Croatian Police Day, Interior Minister Davor Božinović said on Wednesday that the police were "engaged in all areas of national security" and that their role in many other segments was irreplaceable.

During the ceremony held in Zagreb, when the police observed their day on 29 September, the feast of their patron saint, St. Michael, Minister Božinović said that until the end of the term of the current government, all the working processes of the law enforcement authorities would be digitalised.

Police Director Nikola Milina said that police work had focused on detecting tax frauds and evasion, money laundering, and crimes affecting the state budget.

In the first eight months of 2021, the law enforcement authorities had detected 85% more corruption crimes, the number of reports concerning suspected white collar crimes increased by 20%, and the number of detected conspiracies to perpetrate crimes went up by 43%.

All that is not by chance, it is a result of well thought-out strategic planning and our commitment to conducting investigations into economic crimes and corruption, Milina said at the central ceremony.

As for organised crime, so far this year Croatian police officers have arrested 661 people smugglers.

When it comes to the protection of the Croatian and the EU border, it has been established that we have met all the technical and legal requirements which has made our border the best protected external border, he added.

Milina said that significant results had been achieved in raising cyber security, and that the police were ready to respond to all the challenges and threats stemming from the use of new technologies.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Missing Person Peruća Lake: Body Found After Four Day Search

September 22, 2021 - The missing person Peruća Lake search sadly ended with the discovery of the body of Dominik Branimir Bilobrk who went missing last Saturday.

The four-day search for the 24-year-old Dominik Branimir Bilobrk sadly ended with the worst outcome possible.

As TV network RTL reports, police confirmed that the missing young man was found dead close to the place where he left to swim through Peruća lake, an artificial lake in Dalmatia. A little over an hour away from Split by car, Peruća is the third biggest lake in the entire country.

„The boat went to pull him over and bring him to land where investigation and identifying of the victim will take place. The family is already here. They await in sorrow“, said RTL on its website on Wednesday afternoon.

As Jutarnji List reported, Dominik Branimir Bilobrk from Obrovac Sinjski (half an hour drive away from Peruća) disappeared on Saturday. At the time of his disappearance, he wore short camo cargo pants, a short-sleeved black T-shirt, and black sneakers. The description said he was of „stringer physical build, “ and he drove away from his house in a Fiat brand car.

Big search for Bilobrk started on Monday morning around Peruća lake and its surroundings. Police, along with the Croatian Mountain Rescue (HGSS), from Split's station, and HGSS divers from across Croatia joined the search to find the missing 24-year-old. Dogs, drones and boats were used to find the missing young man. Along with professionals, ordinary citizens and Bilobrk's neighbors took part in the search too. Dogs, drones, and boats were used in hopes of finding the missing young man.

Following the interview of HGSS's search leader Ante Jukić, Slobodna Dalmacija wrote on Monday that both the car and the clothes dropped a kilometer away belonged to Bilobrk.

„Every eye on the field helps. The search is specific because we are on a suspected minefield, so we have to pay attention“, said Jukić on Monday, explaining how both civilians and professional troops must be careful in that area.
The finding of th clothes and cars shifted the focus of the search to the lake Peruća. Unfortunately, the search ended with a sad ending, as the exact reasons for Bilobrk's departure remain unknown.

Nestali.hr, a governmental site where Croatians can report missing people, states that in the last 23 years, there have been more than 24 000 missing people reported.
The majority of these cases, around 70%, are related to the war in the 90s.

For more news from Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 17 September 2021

20 Years of Riot Police Force in Croatia Marked

ZAGREB, 17 Sept 2021 - The riot police force is celebrating 20 years since its establishment and in addition to officials from the Ministry of the Interior and Police Directorate, the director of Germany's riot police, Andreas Backhof, attended the celebrations in Zagreb on Friday.

Croatia's riot police force was established on the German model.

Inspector Backhof said that Croatia's riot police meet European standards at a very high level. He underscored that other countries seek advice from Croatia's police when establishing their own police units, which, he said, deserves great respect and recognition, the Ministry said in a press release.

"We have stood and will stand by you, with advice, action and support - all this time we have been learning from you too. We have not only maintained our partnership on an equal footing but have developed friendly relations based on mutual respect and trust," said Backhof.

Interior Ministry state-secretary Irena Petrijevčanin Vuksanović said that compared to previous years, the need to involve riot police in various daily tasks had increased and the scope of their duties had significantly expanded.

Police Director-General Nikola Milina thanked all members of the riot police unit, underscoring that along with the special police unit, riot police conduct the most difficult duties. He recalled that the riot police actively participate in a wide range of police activities, emphasising their engagement in the protection of Croatia's border - the longest external EU border.

The ministry recalled that in addition to their regular duties riot police participate in complex criminal-tactical situations such as police hunts, inspections of premises, ambushes, raids, road blockades, etc.

Riot police are also called in in cases of general danger caused by natural disasters and in all other situations where the presence of a large number of police officers trained to conduct teamwork is required, the ministry said.

For more news, CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Police File Reports Against Eight Anti-Maskers in Krapinske Toplice

ZAGREB, 15 Sept, 2021 - Police in the northwestern Krapina-Zagorje County have filed misdemeanor charges against eight persons protesting outside a primary school in Krapinske Toplice against the obligation for children to wear face masks in school. 

The police have filed 26 reports and they refer to an attempt to disturb the public peace, unreported public assembly in a place where public assemblies are not allowed, refusal to wear a protective mask indoors, and refusal to show police one's ID card.

Police also reported that a child's parents were reported for offences against the Identification Card Act and the Act on the Protection of the Population against Infectious Diseases, and that the competent social welfare service had been informed accordingly.

Police said that over the past few days, several people had continued rallying outside the school in Krapinske Toplice in violation of the Public Assembly Act, which was why police presence there was required.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

 

Sunday, 5 September 2021

Brits Film Croatian Officials Asking for Nonexistent Fee Payments

September the 5th, 2021 - There's bad promotion and there's bad promotion. Unfortunately, it's difficult for it to get much worse than this for the country's nautical tourism as Croatian officials are secretly filmed by some British tourists asking for the payment of fees which don't even exist.

As Morski writes, after the recent scandal from the Slavonski Samac border crossing, where two Croatian customs officers asked for a bribe from a foreign tourist, another scandal related to bribes this time involving other Croatian officials managed to remain outside the Croatian media space - until now that is. The location is Dubrovnik, the month is July, and two British sailor bloggers used a hidden camera to film Croatian officials charging them non-existent fees.

The British informed the Croatian Ministry of Tourism, which confirmed that the officials in question had indeed deceived them.

Carefree sailing along the Croatian coast for a pair of British sailors turned into a first-class scandal, which was documented and published on their YouTube channel and on a website that brings together sailors. It all happened back in July this year when the British couple went to the authorities located in Dubrovnik to announced their departure from Croatian waters, with the aim of continuing their journey down south to nearby Montenegro.

It seems innocent enough, but when they got to speak to the Croatian officials, they fined them the equivalent of 100 pounds because they allegedly failed to pay the additional sojourn tax. The police didn't explain to them exactly what the fee in question was, but the British sailors had to pay it. And in cash.

The sailors state that after this odd incident they contacted the Croatian Ministry of Tourism regarding the disputed payment, and they were told in an official response that there is no such sojourn tax or legal article that obliges boaters to pay such fees. In other words, the Croatian officials based in Dubrovnik robbed them. The British tourists naturally demanded a refund.

''I have to admit that this event left a bitter taste in my mouth. While we were sailing towards Montenegro, we agreed that we'd never return to Croatia again,'' the unsurprisingly indignant British woman said in her video.

The video's description reads: ''It was a shock to be threatened with arrest and have our passports taken away when trying to check out of Croatia. We have had problems before with Croatian officials but we really didn't expect this level of illegal activity'' which is damning for Croatian nautical tourism, which is otherwise very popular. The comments below are also from people who are now reconsidering paying the Croatian coast a visit.

Watch the video in full below:

The Ministry of Tourism was then asked to provide a comment on this case, as their services had indeed responded to the British tourists in question that the tax they had to pay to the officials did not even exist. Attempts have also been made to find out whether the individuals working for the police in question were properly punished for extortion, but no response has been received yet.

An initial report stated that the officers involved were customs officers, but that was swiftly corrected by Croatian customs, who stated that they have nothing to do with foreign nationals and their notifications about leaving Croatia, and that this was a matter involving the police, not them.

It is also important to note that Croatian customs officers operate under the Ministry of Finance, and not under the Interior Ministry (MUP), like the police do.

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