Police Ethics seminar held in Slovenia

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27 April 2011

CEPOL seminar 63/2011 “Human Rights and Police Ethics Integrity, HR & Cost – Benefit” was hosted by the Slovenian Police Academy near Kranj on 12 - 15 April 2011. The seminar was organised with support from Bulgaria and Poland and contributions from Sweden, Switzerland and the EU Agency Frontex.

The activities led by seminar manager Robert Šumi attracted 24 participants from 18 Member States and Turkey. Lessons and sessions were given by a total of 10 experts from five different Member States and from Frontex.

The seminars objectives included and promoted:

  • The importance of a personal integrity in policing
  • Scientific approaches to measuring personal integrity and awareness of the importance of integrity in police work;
  • Increasing the understanding of the relation between integrity, ethics and human rights;
  • Exchanging experiences within the European police services and the field of police education.

At the beginning of the seminar Janko Goršek, Director General of the Slovenian Police, stressed that ethics and integrity begin at the top – with those who must set an example for their colleagues and that ethical conduct can not be ordered, but leadership can give it its deserved value in actions and thus encourage it in others. Mr Goršek concluded his opening remarks by saying “Only in this manner police will be able to effectively perform duties while duly respecting human rights, the individual's personality and integrity”.

The following topics and content were covered during the seminar:

  • Yordanka Minkova presented a project aimed at developing Fundamental rights training for Border Guards, which is being developed by Frontex;
  • Valentin Simeonov, Bulgarian Police Academy, gave a presentation called “Respect of human rights in day-to-day police work through prism of ethical behavior”;
  • Tomasz Milkowski, Police Academy in Katowice Poland, showcased the Polish method used to strengthen police officer integrity;
  • Sre?ko Felix Krope, Slovenian police, highlighted the cost of unethical behavior by police officers with the aid of two practical cases;
  • Dorijan Keržan, Slovenian police, showed practical examples from a philosophical point of view of how ethical and moral issues can occur at a police work place;
  • Vojko Strahovnik, Graduate School of Government and European Studies in Kranj, tackled participants with the dilemma of whether police ethics exists or not;
  • Seminar manager Robert Šumi and Simon Slokan from the Police Directorate in Ljubljana presented the Slovenian project “Integrity at Police”. Mr Šumi concentrated on Integrity and Leadership, while Mr Slokan presented concrete examples of results obtained on the field;
  • Maria Knutsson, Swedish National Police Academy, gave a presentation entitled “How do we acquire knowledge about police (mis)conduct?”
  • Erica-Maria Umbricht, Hitzkirch Interkantonale Polizeischule Switzerland, explained in her presentation that Integrity and Ethics can often bear fruits;
  • Franc Virti?, Police Directorate Maribor, via a Quality Management Framework explained the connection between ethics and excellence and raised the question whether policing is a job or a profession;
  • Maria Knutsson, Erica Maria Umbricht and seminar participant Janna Davidsson from Malmoe Police in Sweden presented the importance of whistleblowers in the police service. They stressed that appropriate socialisation for police officers starts at the beginning – in the Police School or the College.

A first glance at the evaluation forms filled in by the participants at the end of the seminar highlighted that most had gather valuable new knowledge and that they were eager to share this with their colleagues.

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