In Sarajewo gibt es Banden, welche Autos klauen und dann Geld von den Besitzern erpressen. Vollkommen ungehindert geschieht das, weil die Polizei selbst im Zentrum vollkommen versagt. Drogen Schmuggel etc. geschieht vollkommen ungehindert, weil die Politiker jeden Aufbau einer richtigen Polizei verhindern.

22 September 2005
Bosnia's boundaries

By Kevin Weaver

Politics is hindering serious policing in Bosnia. While politicians argue about how to unite the two police forces, crime is spiralling out of control. The Dayton Agreement ended the war in 1995. It agreed on a federal state made up of the Federation (made up of Croats and Muslims or Bosniaks) and the Republika Srpska (RS). There is no better example of the present dilemma facing the two police forces from the two entities than the case of a truckful of cash that went missing a couple of months ago.

Criminals hijacked a security truck inside Sarajevo and though the police picked up their trail they were able to cross the boundary line two or three times within the space of three or four kilometres.

This meant the Federation police from Sarajevo canton were unable to pursue them across boundary lines until they had cleared it with the RS police force from Sarajevo east canton. By the time this had been achieved the criminals, who unlike the police and politicians, co-operate freely across boundary lines, were well away.

DC Simon Farmer, of West Yorkshire Police, and PC Nicola Manton, of Staffordshire Police, are British members of the European Union Police Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, based in Sarajevo. According to PC Manton they are classed as 'police and technical experts within police structuring work'. They have had extensions granted to their one-year terms and currently have been there for 17 and 16 months respectively.

DC Farmer outlines how car crime has risen with criminals stealing cars and driving them across the entity boundary, then calling the owner and demanding a ransom for the return of their vehicle. Many people simply pay the money as it is too long and expensive to involve the police. However, co-operation between the Serbs in east Sarajevo canton and the Federation police in Sarajevo canton has improved vastly, he says, and car crime is falling in Sarajevo.

However, PC Manton says that drug smuggling, prostitution and people trafficking is still increasing and says that earlier this year there was a large heroin seizure by state level police, who are free to go anywhere, at the border in the northeast. 'It's crazy to try and get your head around the policing situation here with state, local, border, ethnic and SIPA (special police) level forces each acting almost independently,' she adds.