- Police reaction to recent protests in Bosnia has called attention to stalled police reform. This brief provides a historical overview detailing the evolution of police structures and the reform attempts and provides recommendations for long-term effective police reform.
- After Bosnia’s 1992–1995 war, police reform became a crucial element of security sector reforms. The police were accused of human rights violations, a lack of proper training and over-militarization. There have been further allegations of criminality and corruption within the force and a lack of cooperation between different police agencies, all resulting in an unsustainable policing environment.
- Initial reforms to obtain state-wide standards through centralization were complicated by the politicization of the reforms and were perceived as an attempt to assimilate the divided state. The result is a fragmentation of police services and disagreement between the three main political blocs within the country.
- Recommendations to improve the policing environment and build trust in the police services include curbing political interference in policing matters, increasing engagement with civil society and formalizing a system to enable reporting of public concerns and complaints.