New Head of the Police – next step of the reform or conservation of the old system?

February 8, 2017 (UA)

It makes more sense today to discuss position of Arsen Avakov in further development of the National Police, than personality of Sergiy Knyazev as newly appointed Head of the body. We will be able to appraise plans, priorities of the new Head of the Police and his ability to fulfill them only after a few months of work.

We’ve already expressed our opinion on disadvantages of the competition – it remained closed for the society. Meanwhile, it would have been useful for the society and experts to become familiar with content and conditions of long-term and short-term programs, motivation letter, written by Sergiy Knyazev as a candidate and sent to the Commission. It is important, because it shows Knyazev’s main goals and ways to achieve them for the next 5 years as the head of the biggest law enforcement institution.

Avakov made an expected decision and chose acting high-ranking official of the National Police among three candidates (two of them were acting officials of the Police), recommended by the Commission according to the competition. Avakov chose a person most experienced in investigations.

Considering this choice we conclude that Arsen Avakov don’t see reforms of the police as relevant and urgent anymore, but he gives priority to stabilization of the police and combating crime under the leadership of authoritative and experienced representative of the “old police guard”. Sergiy Knyazev became an authorized enforcement officer in 1995 and was moving up the ladder despite change of ministers.

Avakov’s position meets expectations of the society, which wants to see the state protecting it against bandits and robbers. Because crime rate and number of robberies, resulted from objective reasons (war on the East of Ukraine, economic crisis, etc.) raised unprecedentedly.

Continue reading “New Head of the Police – next step of the reform or conservation of the old system?”

A group of national deputies presented draft laws on identification of police officers and soldiers of the National Guard, which were developed together with experts of the group

January 24, 2017 (UA)

On January 20, a group of national deputies presented draft laws on amendments to Laws of Ukraine “On National Police” and “On National Guard” regarding identification of police officers and soldiers of the National Guard of Ukraine during policing and public security number 5700 and 5701, which were developed with the involvement of the group experts.

Legal regulation of police insignia, that includes a number of a special badge (part 3 article 20 of the Law of Ukraine “On National Police”), faced a problem – figures on badges are too small to read them in a day light and are absolutely unreadable at night. At the same time, in practice, many police officers keep their badges in pockets during the day, what was confirmed by the last “Police under control” monitoring campaign, conducted by the Association UMDPL. Thus badges don’t fulfill its identification function.

Soldiers of the National Guard, who are involved in the public security on peaceful assemblies, don’t have any identification signs at all. Continue reading “A group of national deputies presented draft laws on identification of police officers and soldiers of the National Guard, which were developed together with experts of the group”

Concept «100 day of quality of the National Police»: failed promises?

December 29, 2016 (UA)

Summarizing a year, it’s impossible not to mention about one of the aspects of police reform – due planning, lack of which makes the reform more and more inconsequent and such that does not solve systemic problems in the activity of Ukrainian police.

Let us remind you, that two weeks ago a competition for the position of Chief of National Police was officially initiated. It foresees, particularly, submission by the candidate of a motivation letter containing a short- and long-term objectives at this position, in particular, first measures which the candidate plans to implement at this position with the aim to provide for the effective activity of the National Police of Ukraine, realization of necessary reforms etc.

Experts of Reanimation Package of Reforms on reforming law enforcement authorities, in their turn, believe that elaboration and publication of concept of his/her own vision of National Police development, as well as of a short- and long-term program of actions have to become an integral part of a competition. This will give the possibility for a society to evaluate the potential of each candidate and the objectivity of a decision of the Selection commission.

To our mind, it is worth reminding of a similar program document – Concept «100 day of quality of the National Police of Ukraine» (hereinafter – Concept) which was successfully forgotten by the very police during the reform, not to mention the civil society.

Thus, this article is dedicated to the state of implementation of the Concept which in its time was actively disseminated by the leadership of the National Police in mass media, and the main projects indicated there, had to be implemented during the first three months (!) from the day National Police started working, meaning from 07 February 2016.

According to the authors of the Concept, it is the 100-day period of time that had to become the transitional period for adaptation of all units and officers of the National Police to the new standard of quality and evaluation of work results. Continue reading “Concept «100 day of quality of the National Police»: failed promises?”

New system of police evaluation has to be focused on people but not on departmental statistics: media report

December 21, 2016 (UA)

In the course of discussion «New System of Ukrainian Police Evaluation: how to avoid «old» problems», which was held by the Expert group «Police under Control» on 20 December 2016 in Kyiv, experts on human rights proposed a new system of evaluation of police effectiveness. In order to implement it is necessary for the quality evaluation to be provided by the commissions that depending on the unit shall be comprised of representatives of police, bar, former law enforcement officers etc.

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The proposed system was presented in the scientific and practical publication of the Expert group «Evaluation of Effectiveness of Police Work in Ukraine: from «batons» to the new system» (unfortunately only in Ukrainian).

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Today de facto continues to exist one of the relics of the Soviet militia – «baton» system of evaluation of police effectiveness which leads to a number of human rights violations within the criminal justice system. The basis of this system is the «cases solved» indicator formed according to categories of crime components for pre-trial authorities and number of administrative protocols on certain articles for other services.

Continue reading “New system of police evaluation has to be focused on people but not on departmental statistics: media report”

Group of national deputies introduced amendments into the draft law “On Disciplinary Statute of the NPU”, which were developed with the involvement of the group experts

December 6, 2016 (UA)

Group of national deputies made amendments to the second reading of the draft law number 4670 “On Disciplinary Statute of the National Police of Ukraine”, which were developed with the involvement of a working group, that had worked on the law enforcement reform – Reanimation Package of Reforms (RPR) and other human rights activists.

Experts of our group actively participated in development of amendments and keep on monitoring work on the draft law, because introduction of an effective accountability mechanism is very important part of the Police reorganization.

New Disciplinary Statute represents improved version of the previous law – Disciplinary Statute of the Law Enforcement, because it lacked European norms, which were included into recommendations of the OSCE and the Council of Europe, for example – introduction of an appropriate body for investigation of complaints against the police, etc.

But refinement of the draft law is a significant step to publicity and effective official investigations of disciplinary violations in the police.

Important amendments proposed for the second reading of the draft law “On Disciplinary Statute of the National Police in Ukraine” number 4670:

Continue reading “Group of national deputies introduced amendments into the draft law “On Disciplinary Statute of the NPU”, which were developed with the involvement of the group experts”

Death of five police officers during the special operation in Knyazhychi city on December 4

December 5, 2016 (UA)

Several comments on yesterday’s events.

1. It is hard to analyse the tragedy that took place in Knyazhychi city because of a lack of reliable information. That is why it is better to avoid jumping to conclusions and big statements. At the same time, the fact of shooting among representatives of the same law enforcement body, that caused 5 deaths, is very confusing and can result in staff changes in high posts of the National Police and a strong public reaction.

It is disturbing that position of the MIA and National Police repeats word for word a Facebook comment of Anton Gerashchenko, counselor of the Minister, which had been published before the official position of the National Police appeared. We believe that official position of the state body should come from Heads of that institution and be operative, without unfounded delays after the most high-profile events.

2. Events that happened near Kiev can be used by interested people to support any opinion – “bad reform”, “old professionals didn’t make such mistakes”, “there are good patrol officers and those were arrested in a bad way”, etc. Lack of information makes us more critical to any one-sided comments on the topic. Moreover, it is disturbing that most comments come from “personal sources of the MIA” and former police officers, including persons close to politics, what makes people trust the source. But such experience in work of law enforcement doesn’t guarantee adequate comments. Continue reading “Death of five police officers during the special operation in Knyazhychi city on December 4”

First year of police: problems with legal regulations

November 18, 2016 (UA)

The Law of Ukraine «On National Police» (hereinafter – «the Law») has been in force for more than a year. It is this law that defined the grounds, criteria and objectives of one of the most large-scale reform in the national legal system since Ukraine became independent.

This makes provisions of the new law the regulatory center of all reform aspirations. However, it is not ideal and needs improvements as well as development within regulatory acts and other laws. Below we’ll focus on a comprehensive review of the main existing problems of normative (first of all legal) regulation of police activity.

1. The Law itself that was adopted quite fast by the Parliament under the pressure of the Ministry of Internal Affairs that did not take into consideration any of the important experts’ amendments from civil society, and is not perfect from the European standards point of view. This was pointed out in the comments of the CoE Directorate General on Human Rights and Rule of Law. Pursuant to this comments the draft law on amendments to the Law of Ukraine “On the National Police of Ukraine” (regarding realization of recommendations stated in the comments of the CoE Directorate General on Human Rights and Rule of Law) was registered in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine with the number 4753 of 02.06.2016. The explanatory note to this draft law shows the problems that need to be fixed. However, unfortunately, as of today the consideration of this draft law is being dragged. Continue reading “First year of police: problems with legal regulations”

Police efficiency and citizens’ rights. Finding a balance within the legislation. UCMC (public discussion)

Authorities and experts discuss how to find a proper balance in the work of National Police

National Police together with experts and MPs come to conclusion that the legislation regulating work of police must balance rights and obligations of police and citizens.

Kyiv, October 17, 2016. Today, Ukrainian legislation is not efficient enough to regulate work of the National Police. Filling these blank spots, it is important to establish a balance of rights and obligations of the police, which would allow police to act effectively and ensure protection of police officers and, at the same time, guarantee respect for citizens’ rights. It is desirable that all legislative initiatives on this issue should be proposed to open discussions with the participation of government representatives, experts from the public and the new patrol police. This was stated by participants of the discussion “Police efficiency and citizens’ rights. Finding a balance within the legislation” held at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

Continue reading “Police efficiency and citizens’ rights. Finding a balance within the legislation. UCMC (public discussion)”

7,7% of police officers released of service – how to understand the results of the attestation of the Ukrainian police

October 12, 2016 (UA)

Those who followed the process of police attestation were not surprised by the low result that was published on 3 October. The main problem, namely – general ineffectiveness of the process of conducting attestation – became clear already in February and was criticized by the experts, scholars and even by members of attestation commissions. Then it became clear that if this won’t be fixed, police will have, first of all, a low result of the very attestation, secondly – a number of lawsuits to administrative courts that will be massively satisfied in favor of plaintiffs.

Unfortunately, police did not react to the criticism and until the end of the attestation process did not recognize the mistakes made. And first of all – did not introduce substantial changes to the attestation procedure, and, therefore, sabotaged the whole attestation of old «militia» officers. On the contrary, police accused others (courts) in facilitation of «revenge of militia system» (Khatia Dekonaidze) or predecessors in the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine who elaborated the Instruction on the Order of Conducting Attestation pursuant to which they were forced to act.

Even though the attestation is only one of the stages of police reform, but it demonstrates the «decisiveness» of the leadership of the National Police of Ukraine and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine to really reform the agency they are responsible for, and not just to pursue declarative reforms which we have enough of in our country. Each new minister of internal affairs, taking the office, started the imitation of reforms: issued decrees on reorganization; people, guilty of minor offences, were demonstratively released of service; name shields on offices, last names, titles etc. were changed. At the same time, just as today, there was an attestation process that had the same result of about 5-10% of officers released of service. What is the difference then between the results of the last attestation and those received during all other bureaucratical and closed departmental attestations of police officers conducted in previous years of Ukraine’s independence?

All points provided below are based, particularly, on the materials of previous publications on police attestation, systemic analysis of all accessible data regarding attestation taken from different sources as well as on personal experience of participation of Expert group representatives in the work of attestation commissions. Continue reading “7,7% of police officers released of service – how to understand the results of the attestation of the Ukrainian police”