Law enforcement in Croatia

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Emblem of Policija
Agency overview
Preceding agency
Employees25,670 of which 20,870 are uniformed personnel
Annual budget4.48 billion HRK
(EUR ~600 million or USD ~679 million)[1]
Jurisdictional structure
National agencyHR
Operations jurisdictionHR
Governing bodyMinistry of the Interior
General nature
HeadquartersZagreb, Ulica grada Vukovara 33

Minister responsible
Agency executive
  • Marko Srdarević, General Police Director
Police Administrations20
AirbasesLučko (LDZL)

Law enforcement in Croatia is the responsibility of the Police (Croatian: Policija), which is a public service of the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Croatia, carrying out certain tasks, the so-called, police activities, laid down by law.[2]

The Police deals with the following affairs: protection of individual life, rights, security and integrity, protection of property, prevention and detection of criminal offences, misdemeanors, violations, search for perpetrators of criminal offences, misdemeanors, violations and their bringing before competent authorities, control and management of road traffic, conducting affairs with aliens, control and security of state border, and other affairs defined by law.[3]

In the operative sense, police affairs are divided into affairs related to public peace and order, affairs related to security of public gatherings, affairs of the border police, affairs of safety of road traffic, affairs of counter-explosive protection, affairs of the criminal police, crime-technical affairs, crime-files affairs, administrative affairs, nationality-related affairs, status questions and asylum, affairs of protection and rescue, inspection affairs and technical affairs.[3]

In recent years, the force has been undergoing a reform with assistance from international agencies, including the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe since OSCE Mission to Croatia began there on 18 April 1996, with Croatia being admitted to OSCE on March 24, 1992.[4]

Police powers[edit]

Police officers' powers in order to maintain peace in Croatia, such as the power to stop and search, seize property and use force, are regulated.[5] A police officer in Croatia may only stop and search a person if a court has issued a warrant and it is possible that this person has broken the law or is in possession of items or tools which are considered unlawful.[citation needed]

A police officer is only allowed to use firearms if there is an immediate threat to his own life or the lives of other people, to prevent a crime from being committed for which the minimum prison sentence is five years or more, or to prevent the escape of a prisoner caught committing an offence for which the prison sentence is a maximum of ten years.[5]


The General Police Directorate (Croatian: Ravnateljstvo policije) is an administrative organization of the Ministry of the Interior constituted for conducting police affairs. The General Police Directorate is responsible for:[2]

  • screening and analysis of the state of security and developments leading to the emergence and development of crime;
  • harmonization, guidance and supervision over the work of Police Directorates and Police Administrations;
  • immediate participation in particular more complex operations of Police Directorates and Police Administrations;
  • providing for the implementation of the international agreements on police cooperation and other international acts under the competence of the General Police Directorate;
  • organizing and conducting of criminal forensics operations;
  • setting the prerequisites for the efficient work of the Police Academy;
  • adopting of standards for the equipment and technical means;
  • setting the prerequisites for the police readiness to act in the state of emergency.

General Police Directorate is headed by General Police Director (Croatian: glavni ravnatelj policije).

There are the following organization forms within General Police Directorate:[6][7]

  • Police Directorate (Uprava policije)
  • Criminal Police Directorate (Uprava kriminalističke policije)
  • Border Police Directorate (Uprava za granicu)
  • Command of Special Police (Zapovjedništvo specijalne policije)
  • Operational Communication Centre (Operativno–komunikacijski centar policije)
  • Forensic Centre (Centar za kriminalistička vještačenja)
  • Police Academy (Policijska akademija)
  • Special Security Affairs Directorate (Uprava za posebne poslove sigurnosti)

For immediate conducting of police affairs there are 20 Police Administrations (policijske uprave) divided into four categories, which cover the territory of the Republic of Croatia according to the organization of units of local self-government (counties or županije).

Police stations are established for direct police and other affairs in each Police Administration.

Border controll[edit]

Croatia has had an external border with the Schengen area since the accession of the country to the EU. As part of the major migration movements from 2015, Croatia became part of the so-called Balkan route. The European Border Agency Frontex has a small mission in Croatia to assist the police at various border crossings. In July 2018 Frontex organized the air reconnaissance of the border with Bosnia with a reconnaissance aircraft as part of the Frontex 'Multipurpose Aerial Surveillance (MAS). The aircraft transmit moving images of remote sensing cameras in real time to the Frontex Situation Center (FSC) in Warszawa.[8]


For several times NGOs report, that the Croatian police illegally and arbitrarily deport refugees to Bosnia-Herzegovina, ie from the EU (push-backs). It would come again and again to attacks by the Croatian officials to the refugees.[9][10][11]


Regular Police (Temeljna policija)[edit]

Probationer with
Secondary School
Police college
Police Officer Senior Police Officer Police Sergeant Senior Police Sergeant Police Inspector Senior Police Inspector LeadingPolice Inspector Chief Police Inspector Police Commissioner Police Senior Commissioner Deputy Police Director Police Director
Policajac vježbenik
Policajac vježbenik
Policajac Viši policajac Policijski narednik Viši policijski narednik Policijski inspektor Viši policijski inspektor Samostalni policijski inspektor Glavni policijski inspektor Policijski savjetnik Glavni policijski savjetnik Zamjenik ravnatelja policije Ravnatelj policije
Policajac vjezbenik.svg Policajac vjezbenik sss.svg Policajac.svg Visi policajac.svg Policijski narednik.svg Visi policijski narednik.svg Policijski inspektor.svg Visi policijski inspektor.svg Samostalni policijski inspektor.svg Glavni policijski inspektor.svg Policijski savjetnik.svg Glavni policijski savjetnik.svg Zamjenik ravnatelja policije.svg Ravnatelj policije.svg

Intervention Police (Interventna policija)[edit]

Intervention Police members
Police officer in intervention group Leader of intervention group Commander of a section in intervention Police Commander of platoon in Intervention Police - Instructor Assistant Commander of troop in Intervention Police Commander of troop in Intervention Police Deputy/Assistant Commander of Intervention Police unit Commander of Intervention Police unit Instructor in headquarters of Intervention Police Assistant Commander of Intervention Police Commander of Intervention Police
Policajac u interventnoj policiji Vođa grupe u interventnoj policiji Zapovjednik odjeljenja Zapovjednik voda – instruktor Pomoćnik zapovjednika satnije interventne policije Zapovjednik satnije interventne policije Zamjenik zapovjednika – pomoćnik zapovjednika Zapovjednik jedinice interventne policije Policijski službenik – instruktor Pomoćnik zapovjednika interventne policije Zapovjednik interventne policije
Policajac u interventnoj policiji.svg Vođa grupe u interventnoj policiji.svg Zapovjednik odjeljenja.svg Zapovjednik voda – instruktor – policijski sluzbenik.svg Pomoćnik zapovjednika satnije interventne policije.svg Zapovjednik satnije interventne policije.svg Zamjenik zapovjednika – pomoćnik zapovjednika.svg Zapovjednik jedinice interventne policije.svg Policijski sluzbenik – instruktor.svg Pomoćnik zapovjednika interventne policije.svg Zapovjednik interventne policije.svg

Special Police (Specijalna policija)[edit]

Special Police members
Police Officer - specialist Leader of specialized group Instructor - Commander of platoon in Special Police Assistant Commander of Intervention Police unit Commander of Special Police unit Instructor in headquarters of Special Police Assistant Commander of Special Police Commander of Special Police
Policajac - specijalac Vođa specijalističke grupe Instruktor – zapovjednik voda u specijalnoj jedinici policije Pomoćnik zapovjednika specijalne jedinice policije Zapovjednik specijalne jedinice policije Instruktor u zapovjedništvu specijalne policije Pomoćnik zapovjednika specijalne policije Zapovjednik specijalne policije
Policajac - specijalac.svg Vođa specijalističke grupe.svg Instruktor – zapovjednik voda u specijalnoj jedinici policije.svg Pomoćnik zapovjednika specijalne jedinice policije.svg Zapovjednik specijalne jedinice policije.svg Instruktor u zapovjedništvu specijalne policije.svg Pomoćnik zapovjednika specijalne policije.svg Zapovjednik specijalne policije.svg



Since 2013, there were special efforts by the Ministry of the Interior to equip the Croatian police with new vehicles and uniforms. Police cars consist mainly of Opel Astra 4-doors,some Citroën C-elysée and, more prominently, Ford Focuses (unmarked sedans and marked estates).


Aircraft Quantity Introduced Notes
Agusta-Bell 212 1 9A-HBM
Bell 206B 3 9A-HDB, 9A-HBZ, 9A-HBC
AgustaWestland AW139 2 January 2016 9A-HRP,9A-HPH, second delivered on 28. June 2016.[13]
Eurocopter EC135 P2+ 2 2013 9A-HBA, 9A-HBB, [13]
Robinson R22 Beta 1 9A-HAG,[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b Police
  3. ^ a b Republic of Croatia, Interpol[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ OSCE Mission to Croatia retrieved from here on May 19, 2007
  5. ^ a b Police, Croatia retrieved from here on May 19, 2007
  6. ^ Organizational scheme of General Police Directorate[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ Ministarstvo unutarnjih poslova
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-10-01. Retrieved 2009-10-22.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ a b c d e AirForces Monthly. Stamford, Lincolnshire, England: Key Publishing Ltd. March 2016. p. 10.

External links[edit]