Albanian Police

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Albanian State Police
Policia e Shtetit
Common name Policia
Albanian Police Logo patch.svg
Logo of the Albanian Police
Agency overview
Formed 1991
Employees 9421 employees
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Governing body Ministry of Interior
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters Tirana
Child agencies
  • Border and Migration Police
  • Road Police
Albanian Police

The Albanian State Police is the national police and law enforcement agency which operates throughout the Republic of Albania. The collapse of the Communist system and the establishment of political pluralism post-1991 brought important changes to the structure of the Albanian Police. The Ministry of Public Order and the General Directorate of Police was established in April 1991, and the new law of July 1991 established the Public Order Police. Nearly 80% of police manpower, i.e. personnel who had served under the previous system, were replaced by new recruits. On November 4, 1991, the Albanian Police was accepted as a member of INTERPOL. The emergency number is 129.


The original Albanian Police was founded on 13 January 1913 by the government of Ismail Qemali, Albania's first prime minister.[1]

The crisis of 1997[edit]

Following the collapse of the Albanian economy in January–February 1997 in the wake of the implosion of the Ponzi pyramid banking schemes promoted by the government,[2] increasing insurgency in early March led to the Police and Republican Guard deserting en masse because it became clear they were unlikely to be paid, leaving their armouries unlocked,[3] which were promptly looted by parties unknown, believed to mostly have been the local crime bodies and self-appointed militias: many of the weapons eventually surfaced in the ethnic fighting in Kosovo.

Riot police in 1997 in Albania

The resulting anarchy led a number of nations to use military forces to evacuate citizens,[4][5] culminating in the UN authorising Operation Alba ("Daybreak"), a short-term military stabilisation force led by the Italian Army, tasked with facilitating the repatriation of foreigners and laying the foundations for another International Organisation to undertake the longer-term restabilisation. The political debate eventually settled in Europe within the body responsible for the defence diplomatic coordination of the Continent, the Council of the Western European Union. In a 2-hour meeting which convened at 1400 hrs on 2 May 1997,[6] the WEU Council decided on the immediate establishment of the Multinational Advisory Police Element, sending a pathfinder officer, a Norwegian Police Colonel, the same evening. The Italian force in Operation Alba predicated the Command structure of MAPE passing into the Italian Carabinieri, General Pietro Pistolese, previously commanding the Genoa region, bringing his team with him. Four phases followed, assessment, reconstruction, support of the Albanian Police control during the Kosovo Crisis, and finally build-down and handback in early 2001, which was somewhat accelerated ahead of the transfer of the WEU's operational responsibilities to the Council of the EU on 30 June 2001. The reconstruction principally involved the reconstruction of the Judicial system and the training of Police, but the Finance section also accommodated economic specialists acting as the principal feedback into the correction of the Judicial system. The Command Team later formed the core of the European Union Border Assistance Mission Rafah from 2005 onwards.

Public Perception[edit]

According to a survey produced in 2009 for the United States Agency for International Development Albanian's perception of the police was as follows:[7]

  • On a scale of 0-100 with 0 being Very Honest and 100 being Very Corrupt, Policemen were given a score of 63.1 points
  • When asked to what extent the police help to fight corruption, 0 being Not at All and 100 being Helps a Lot, the Police were given a score of 45.5
  • When asked about trust in institutions, 0 being No Trust at All and 100 being Trust a Lot, the Police were given a score of 47.8
  • When asked if during the previous year they had been asked for a bribe 7.8% said Yes
  • "When asked how they were treated by the police, the proportion of respondents that replied "Poorly" or "Very poorly" was 26.6%, a decrease of 10.9 percentage points from 37.5% in 2005"

Given that this was within eight years of the departure of the MAPE rebuilding mission, great concern must be expressed about the capacity of the police force to maintain the legal norms required of an aspirant EU State.




Cars used by ASP 
Albanian Police Patrol along SH1 Highway 
Albanian Police Training 
RENEA Special Forces Showcase in Tirana 

See also[edit]

  • Sigurimi, the former secret police force

External links[edit]