POLICING IN CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE: Comparing Firsthand Knowledge with Experience from the West,
© 1996 College of Police and Security Studies, Slovenia


POLICE OPINION ABOUT THEIR OWN ORGANIZATION

Trpe Stojanovski, Zorica Sinadinovska-Zdraveska

I SUBJECT AND AIM OF THE RESEARCH

The research has been done in1995 in the Republic of Macedonia. Subject of the research is the police organization in the Republic of Macedonia.

The aim of the research is detecting and separating elements for making a modern model of police organization. This research project should clear up just one of the aspects important for making a modern police model. Results of this research can not completely show the situation of what the police employees see and feel about it, but we estimated the received results as very important for discovering a new access for making a model of police organization in democratic society.

II USED METHODS IN THE RESEARCH

When we research a police organization we use questionnaire for collecting data and relevant reports for researching phenomena which are not limited with their genesis, but they are for all dimension (the past, the present, the future).

With using this instrument we estimate that we will get sophisticated data about police's opinion for their organization and how it works. When we use questionnaire, we use parallely another method: analyzing documents, observing with participation, comparative method etc.

III CORRELATION COEFFICIENT

The term "correlation" means connecting between phenomena, in other words connection between variables which shows these phenomena. Measure of this connection is correlation coefficient that gives information about power and quality of the connection. In this research are used FI - coefficient and coefficient of quota.

When we use correlation coefficient with any methods, we get the number which absolute value is between 0 and 1. The dimension of the number informs us about power of connection between variables. According to the number, connection can be, for example: very thin, thin, middle, high, very high.

IV MAIN CHARACTERISTICS USED BEFORE THE RESEARCH

The sample consists of 243 respondents from 12 towns in Republic of Macedonia in all regions (graph 1). The structure of the respondents was made in this way : two thirds from policemen in uniform and one third from criminalistic police and other employees with the status of "authority official persons", which show the same structure of all employees in Ministry of Interior. All respondents have this structure: 15% are women, 22% from the nationalities, work experience was not limited - 1 - 28 years work experience in police (it means that some of them have education in "old political system" and some of them have education at the "new time"), by level of education - half of the respondents with secondary school, 16% with advanced school, 34% with university (graph 2), according to the tasks they have 36,3% work places according to the secondary level of education they should have, 23,4% work places according to the advanced level of education they should have and 43,3% work places according to the university level of education they should have (graph 3).

This criteria for respondents come from the whole number of the employees in the Ministry of interior by the structure of the work places from which we decided to conduct a questionnaire. The choice of respondents was made by day program of work, which is based on a questionnaire of a representative example.

Graph.1: Towns in which questionnaire is conducted. Numbers in brackets represent numbers of respondents.

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Graph.2: Structure of respondents by their education

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Graph.3: Structure of respondents acording to the level of the education they should have

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V MAIN RESULTS OF THE RESEARCH

Police's opinion about the security

For "security" as function in the state, 28,3% of respondents consider that security is the most important, but 68,7% of the respondents consider that "security" is important, but there are more important functions in the society to become democratic state. The opinion of respondents about the security depends of their nationality, education and their job. Police officers which are not Macedonian nationality think that security is the most important, but police officers from Macedonian nationality consider that security is important, but there are more important functions than security. ( Correlation coefficient is 0,14 - C = 0,14 ).

Police officers with secondary education consider that "security" is the most important, but police officers with higher education consider that "security" is important , but there are other important things (C=0,21).

This difference in opinion compared with general opinion of the respondents is expressed with correlation coefficient is 0,21.

Graph 4: The security as function in the state is:

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The most of respondents (87,1%) consider that "all kind of security" is the most important and the rest of respondents decided for political, economic, public and defense security.

Graph 5: The most important security is:

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Police's opinion about their profession

The position of the police compared with other public professions in the state - 60,9% of the respondents consider that it is good, 12% - that it is very good and 25,5% that it is not good. The police officers - men consider that the position of the police is good, but the police officers - women consider that the position of the police is very good (half of them) and the rest of the police officers - women consider that the position of the police is bad (C=0,16).

Graph 6: The position of the police compared with other public professions in the Republic of Macedonia is:

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The police and the relation with the public

The respondents consider that the police do not make difference between citizens which have contact with the police and that the police are prepared to tell, to teach about their rights (90,5%). The police officers with secondary education are prepared to teach only the citizens which are correct in their behavior and want to have cooperation with the police. This opinion is different for the police officers with higher education (C=0,18). This conclusion about the wrong opinion of this category of the police officers is expressed in the curriculum in the process of the education of the police officers and put in the program of permanent education.

The police officers have respect for the citizens and for the relationship with the public, but they are more interested in the opinion of the citizens about the police. More than half of the respondents (56,8%) consider that opinion of the citizens about the police is very important and they try to contribute to form positive opinion of the public for the police. 39,1% of the respondents consider that the opinion of the public is very important, but they are not possible to exert influence on the public. The police officers - men consider that they can give their contribution to form positive opinion of the public for the police, but police officers - women consider that they are less powerful for that (C=0,18).

Graph 7: The public opinion about the police is:

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In their relation with the citizens, the police officers show a high level of criticism: 13,2% of police officers consider that police treatment is very good, 37,4% consider that police treatment is good, 46,9% - consider that police treatment is good, with some exclusions, 2,5% - consider that police treatment is not good.

Graph 8: The police treatment with the citizens is:

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The police opinion about possible deviation in police working

The police opinion about possible deviation - to take a bribe - is very correct. To the question -for reaction of the police officer if he knows that his colleague take a bribe - 80,2% of police officers will act on the same way as another crime (which is a proper act), 14,4% of police officers will talk with their colleague, without treatment, 5,4% of police officers will take advice from other colleagues and will give informal answer.

Between these answers, characteristics are the opinion of the groups by the sex, education and working place. The police officers - men show more right acting in this situation from police officers - women (C=0,14).

The police officers with secondary education are more for compromise resolution than their colleagues with higher education (C=0,26). The most correlation is between groups of the police officers by working places (C=0,30).

Graph 9: The reaction of the police officer when he discovers that his colleague takes a bribe will be:

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To the question - are there in the police bribe and corruption 15,2% crimes do not exist; 25,9% - consider that they do not exist yet, but the police officers are ready to take "little presents", 41,2% - consider that they exist, but in a small number and 8,6% - consider that bribe and corruption are present in the police (the dark number of these crimes are very difficult to discover.

The police officers with secondary education have different opinion as bribe and corruption are not present or are present but in a small number. The police officers with higher education (in the criminal police) consider that bribe and corruption are present very much, but the police officers with the same education (in the uniform) consider that this kind of crime does not exist, but the police officers are ready to take "little presents".

Our commentary about these datas is: If half of the police officers consider that bribe and corruption are present in the police (even in a form of "little presents"), then conclusion is to find measures and methods to stamp out this kind of crime. Because of the existing deviation in the police, it will have influence on efficiency and legality on the police work and on the relationship and the opinion of the citizens about the police.

Graph 10: Are there in the police bribe and corruption:

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SYNTHESIS AND ESTIMATION OF THE RESULTS

The results of the research project "Police opinion about their own organization" show that the police officers have positive attitude towards the police and their tasks as security institution in the society. The results of the research are confirm the thesis that the structure of the police organization is exposed to very strong influence of several factors - external and internal. The external factors are the laws which define the competence of the police (Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia, Law for internal affairs, Law for the departments of the state) then: the security conditions, the security needs, the security policy, the security aims and the end- the society and its characteristics. The internal factors are: the program aims of the Ministry of internal affairs, tasks, means, methods, development of employers.

During creating the all kind of relations in the society, the citizens do not build the basic supposition for making individual and national security. Because of that, in these processes became conditions of insecurity, which consequence are evident. To avoid these conditions, the police as special institution for protecting the internal security of the state are confronting with many objective and subjective difficulties, which have influence on its effectiveness.

In all, the police organization in the Republic of Macedonia has good prospects to transform in a modern state institution by a model of modern police organizations in the states with democratic constitution and tradition.


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