Law enforcement in Croatia

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]

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)

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

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.

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

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)

Probationer with
Secondary School
Police college
Police OfficerSenior Police OfficerPolice SergeantSenior Police SergeantPolice Inspector Senior Police Inspector LeadingPolice InspectorChief Police InspectorPolice CommissionerPolice Senior CommissionerDeputy Police DirectorPolice Director
Policajac vježbenik
Policajac vježbenik
PolicajacViši policajacPolicijski narednikViši policijski narednikPolicijski inspektorViši policijski inspektorSamostalni policijski inspektorGlavni policijski inspektorPolicijski savjetnikGlavni policijski savjetnikZamjenik ravnatelja policijeRavnatelj policije

Intervention Police (Interventna policija)

Police officer in intervention groupLeader of intervention groupCommander of a section in intervention Police Commander of platoon in Intervention Police - InstructorAssistant Commander of troop in Intervention PoliceCommander of troop in Intervention PoliceDeputy/Assistant Commander of Intervention Police unitCommander of Intervention Police unitInstructor in headquarters of Intervention Police Assistant Commander of Intervention PoliceCommander of Intervention Police
Policajac u interventnoj policijiVođa grupe u interventnoj policijiZapovjednik odjeljenjaZapovjednik voda – instruktorPomoćnik zapovjednika satnije interventne policijeZapovjednik satnije interventne policijeZamjenik zapovjednika – pomoćnik zapovjednikaZapovjednik jedinice interventne policijePolicijski službenik – instruktorPomoćnik zapovjednika interventne policijeZapovjednik interventne policije

Special Police (Specijalna policija)

Police Officer - specialistLeader of specialized groupInstructor - Commander of platoon in Special Police Assistant Commander of Intervention Police unitCommander of Special Police unitInstructor in headquarters of Special PoliceAssistant Commander of Special Police Commander of Special Police
Policajac - specijalacVođa specijalističke grupeInstruktor – zapovjednik voda u specijalnoj jedinici policijePomoćnik zapovjednika specijalne jedinice policijeZapovjednik specijalne jedinice policijeInstruktor u zapovjedništvu specijalne policijePomoćnik zapovjednika specijalne policijeZapovjednik specijalne policije



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).


Agusta-Bell 21219A-HBM
Bell 206B39A-HDB, 9A-HBZ, 9A-HBC
AgustaWestland AW1392January 20169A-HRP,9A-HPH, second delivered on 28. June 2016.[13]
Eurocopter EC135 P2+220139A-HBA, 9A-HBB, [13]
Robinson R22 Beta19A-HAG,

See also


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