An Editorial Comment
by Otto Diederichs
Browsing through the relevant literature in this country, one finds hardly any information about the structural changes in the police of the post-Communist states of Central and Eastern Europe. And not a word about the development of civil liberties in these countries. For this reason, the ‚Institute for Civil Rights and Public Safety‘ organised an international conference in Berlin on the subject of ‚Police Development and Civil Liberties in the East-European Countries‘. This issue contains the papers presented at the conference.
Problems of Police Development in Post-Socialist States
by Mike King
In conjunction with a ’needs assessment‘ of the police forces of Central and Eastern Europe performed under the auspices of the ‚United Nations‘, it was found that Hungary had advanced a great deal further than any other of the post-socialist states with reference to its democratic institutions. Lithuania placed somewhere in the ‚grey area‘ in the middle of the field due to its previous close bonds to the former Soviet Union, whereas Albania came in last at the very other end of the scale. However, all of these states differ fundamentally in terms of their respective national ‚peculiarity‘. And in this sense they were always different from the states of Western Europe. And, precisely due to this ‚otherness‘, it becomes important to ask in which direction these states are moving in terms of their police developments and what types of police systems are they using as ‚role models‘. The author, a police research scientist at the University of Leicester, attempts to deal with these important questions.
Police Development and Civil Liberties in Poland
by Dorota Rowicka
After the collapse of the communist regime in Poland in 1989 significant changes took place not only in Polish society in general but also with regard to the organisational structure of the police and the intelligence services. The former ‚Civic Militia‘ was dissolved as well as also the ‚Security Bureau‘, the former secret police of the Communists. Review Commissions were established and given the task of reviewing applicants from the old services for possible employment in the new security services. In an effort to prevent renewed abuse of the security services, several special control organs were created. The author who teaches criminology and penal law and is also a member of the ‚Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights‘ describes the transformation and its effects.
The Czech Police since 1989 from a Civil Liberties Perspective>
by Marian Zajícek
Since the political change of power in the Czech Republic in November of 1989, the country’s police underwent numerous changes not only in terms of organisational structure. The behaviour of the police in public underwent fundamental and significant changes: Police officers in the streets were suddenly friendly and courteous and within a short period of time people lost the deep fear of the police they had felt for nearly 40 years. After this initial feeling of ‚relief‘ growing crime generated a new apprehensiveness. Today, Czech citizens want a police force with expanded powers and authority – and the old ‚climbing teams‘ are once again beginning to surface within the police forces. The author was a member of the Czech police for several years immediately following the political change and is currently employed in the Prague office of ‚amnesty international‘.
Changes in Policing and Police Organisation in Hungary
by Dr. László Salgó
Up until the early eighties the Hungarian police was primarily the police forces of a repressive system, although in later years its properties as service apparatus gradually came to the foreground. In 1990 it was quickly removed from the strict control of the Ministry of the Interior and became (as the secret services also) an autocratic organisational entity in its own right. Because no experts were available for providing assistance to the task of restructuring and reorganising the police during the critical transition phase after the change of political power, foreign experts were invited to come in and help with this task. The author, a police colonel and Chief of the county police Csongrád, portraits this process through the eyes of a participating police official.
Civil Liberties and Police in Hungary since 1989
by István Szikinger
Both, centralisation and militarisation as the salient features of Hungary’s police have succeeded in surviving the transformation taking place since 1989. The only significant reform measure that took place, is the replace of top police leadership personnel. And even this reform took place under police supervision, such that real controlled change never made its way into the reform agenda. The separation of police and intelligence services has remained little more than a formality inasmuch as the Police Act of 1994 allows for broad direct co-operation at several different levels. The author, a police research scientist from Budapest, draws the conclusion: „In terms of civil liberties, police development in Hungary is disappointing.“
Police Support for the Countries of Central and Eastern Europe
by Heiner Busch
Since the collapse of the ‚real socialism‘ Western European states have been scrambling for a piece of the cake of providing a special kind of development support to the ‚brother and sister‘ states of Central and Eastern Europe – aid and assistance in the restructuring and expansion of the agencies and instruments of the state’s monopoly on violence: Police and intelligence service support. It is predominantly the providers who provide from such activity to the degree that they achieve successes in exporting their own threat scenarios, concepts and methods to their eastern neighbours. Whatever the outcome of these activities, everything takes place among the small group of experts and representatives who comprise the ’security‘ community. Police support is primarily adumbrate territory. The author attempts to throw some light on the subject.
Police Transformation as a Civil Liberties Problem
by Wolf-Dieter Narr
The mere term ‚transformation‘ infers a certain clarity with reference to what is to be transformed or at the direction in which this transformation will be moving. It is as if the only still extant snares to moving on with life might be found in the rubble of ‚real socialism‘; in other words, problems with getting the trash off the lawn soon enough. Germany – as we know it today – has (within a relatively brief time span) undergone two political transformations: First, the transformation away from Nazi Germany and its western zone of occupation in the era between 1945-1949 into the Federal Republic up to 1990. And then, subsequent to its collapse, the integration of the former GDR – the other successor state to the national socialist regime, which was transformed from ‚real socialist‘ into the ‚Five New States‘ of the Federal Republic. Even this has fundamentally changed the Germany as a whole. On the basis of scientific reflection and his years of research in the theory of democracy, civil liberties and police research analysis as well as his civil liberties activities, the author posits considerable scepticism with reference to the all too premature and careless use of the term transformation.
Tangled up in the Nexus of Contract Work and Organised Crime
by Sabine am Orde
In late May of 1996 a group of Vietnamese citizens living in Germany issued a press statement criticising the media reporting which tendentially equated the Vietnamese minority in Germany with organised crime. The declaration emphasised a point that would normally require no further explication, namely that „Not all Vietnamese are Mafiosi.“ ‚Alien crime rates‘, ‚organised crime of international criminal groups‘ etc. are currently household catchwords. The ‚Vietnamese cigarette Mafia‘ currently enjoys the greatest media attention. The author, a scientist and journalist, analyses the ‚amplification circuit‘ between politicians, police activities and media coverage which can lead to the defamation of a complete ethnic minority or group.
Police in the Internet
by Carsten Wiegrefe
Police Internet activities first came to the public attention of the Federal Republic of Germany in the spring of this year as a result of media coverage of the American FBI successes in Internet investigation operations. Exhilarated by the American successes, German police also began releasing wanted messages into the Internet. The article provides a preliminary overview of the digital activities of German security forces.
Fatal Police Shootings in 1995
by Otto Diederichs
Since 1979 CILIP has continuously tracked and recorded fatal incidents due to police use of firearms (retroactively dates back to 1972). Despite minor differences in classification and enumeration criteria these statistic were always identical with the official statistics published by the Police Leadership Academy in Münster-Hiltrup. This year for the first time there were significant discrepancies. Further investigation revealed that in many cases fatal Police shootings receive no more than local press coverage. They also revealed another interesting fact: At least two fatal incidents are missing in the official statistics of the Police Leadership Academy.