Emblem of the Croatian Police
Emblem of the Croatian Police
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
Operational structure
HeadquartersZagreb, Ulica grada Vukovara 33
Minister responsible
Agency executive
  • Marko Srdarević, General Police Director
Police Administrations20
AirbasesLučko (LDZL)

Law enforcement in Croatia is the responsibility of the Croatian Police (Croatian: Hrvatska policija), which is the national police force of the country subordinated by the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Croatia, carrying out certain tasks, the so-called, police activities, laid down by law.[2]

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, search for perpetrators of criminal offences, 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.[citation needed]

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]


Flag of Croatian Police

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]

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]

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 control

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 Warsaw, Poland.[8] In 2023, Croatia became a Schengen Zone member state.


For several times NGOs report, that the Croatian police illegally and arbitrarily deport refugees to Bosnia-Herzegovina, i.e. from the EU (push-backs). It would come again and again to attacks by the Croatian officials on the refugees.[9][10][11]

Working conditions

Croatian police have salaries much lower than the average salary in the country, and has the lowest net wage among all EU countries. For a full-time police officer, the monthly wage amounts approximately to €700; this has been attributed, justly or unjustly, to the declining interest of new candidates at the police academy. Much effort has been invested in media to popularize the profession of law enforcement; absent significant salary increases, however, such efforts have been criticized, before the fact, as futile.


Despite having access to Schengen funds and investing significant amount of money in various equipment, it has been claimed that the basic needs of officers are incompletely covered; for example, winter parka jackets are issued to the officer upon initial tour of duty, and in some cases it has been claimed that reissues even after 10 years of service were unavailable.


Regular Police (Temeljna policija)

Probationer with
Secondary School
Police college
Police Officer Senior Police Officer Police Sergeant Senior Police Sergeant Police Inspector Senior Police Inspector Leading Police Inspector Chief Police Inspector Police Commissioner Police Senior Commissioner Deputy Police Director Police Director
Policajac vježbenik
Policajac vježbenik
Policajac Viši policajac Policijski narednik Viši policijski narednik Policijski inspektor Viši policijski inspektor Samostalni policijski inspektor Glavni policijski inspektor Policijski savjetnik Glavni policijski savjetnik Zamjenik ravnatelja policije Ravnatelj policije

Intervention Police (Interventna policija)

Intervention Police members
Police officer in intervention group Leader of intervention group Commander of a section in intervention Police Commander of platoon in Intervention Police - Instructor Assistant Commander of troop in Intervention Police Commander of troop in Intervention Police Deputy/Assistant Commander of Intervention Police unit Commander of Intervention Police unit Instructor in headquarters of Intervention Police Assistant Commander of Intervention Police Commander of Intervention Police
Policajac u interventnoj policiji Vođa grupe u interventnoj policiji Zapovjednik odjeljenja Zapovjednik voda – instruktor Pomoćnik zapovjednika satnije interventne policije Zapovjednik satnije interventne policije Zamjenik zapovjednika – pomoćnik zapovjednika Zapovjednik jedinice interventne policije Policijski službenik – instruktor Pomoćnik zapovjednika interventne policije Zapovjednik interventne policije

Special Police (Specijalna policija)

Special Police members
Police Officer - specialist Leader of specialized group Instructor - Commander of platoon in Special Police Assistant Commander of Intervention Police unit Commander of Special Police unit Instructor in headquarters of Special Police Assistant Commander of Special Police Commander of Special Police
Policajac - specijalac Vođa specijalističke grupe Instruktor – zapovjednik voda u specijalnoj jedinici policije Pomoćnik zapovjednika specijalne jedinice policije Zapovjednik specijalne jedinice policije Instruktor u zapovjedništvu specijalne policije Pomoćnik zapovjednika specijalne policije Zapovjednik 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 mostly Škoda Octavias, 4-door Opel Astras, some Citroën C-Elysées and, more prominently, Ford Focuses (unmarked sedans and marked estates).


Aircraft Quantity Introduced Notes
Agusta-Bell 212 1 9A-HBM[14]
Bell 206B 3 9A-HDB, 9A-HBZ, 9A-HBC[14]
AgustaWestland AW139 2 January 2016 9A-HRP, 9A-HPH, second delivered on 28 June 2016[13]
Eurocopter EC135 P2+ 2+3[15] On order 2013/2022 9A-HBA, 9A-HBB,[13] 3 additional helicopters ordered for €25.2 million[15]
Robinson R22 Beta 1 9A-HAG[14]


According to human rights organizations, Croatian police has been accused of overt and, generally unpunished, brutality. Amnesty international has issued a detailed report on the allegations of torture of refugees and migrants,[16] while the Human Rights Watch has criticized the organization impunity of violence and unlawful pushbacks at their borders.[17]

In 2021, the Border Violence Monitoring Network published a report into the use of torture and inhuman treatment during pushbacks by Croatian police.[18] They assert that:


In 2002, accepting bribes was a common form of street police corruption in Croatia. According to the International Victim Crimes Survey, 15 out of 100 respondents reported paying a bribe within the last year – 44% of which were paid to police officers. This frequency was higher than most other East-European countries, with respondents suggesting that police in Croatia were targeted more frequently for successful bribes compared to other countries in East-Europe. These results indicated that police corruption, especially in regards to the acceptance of a bribe by a police officer, seemed to be more prevalent among Croatian police than among police in other East-European countries.[19]

See also


  1. ^ https://www.mup.hr/public/documents/Financijska%20izvje%C5%A1%C4%87a/Financijski%20plan%20Ministarstva%20unutarnjih%20poslova%20za%202018.g.%20i%20projekcije%20za%20%202019.%20i%202020.%20godinu.pdf [bare URL PDF]
  2. ^ a b "Naslovna". mup.gov.hr. Retrieved 2024-01-30.
  3. ^ a b "European police and justice systems - Croatia". 2007-05-22. Archived from the original on 2007-05-22. Retrieved 2024-01-30.
  4. ^ "not found". www.osce.org. Retrieved 2024-01-30.
  5. ^ a b "Police, Croatia - Legislationline - free online legislation database". 2007-09-27. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2024-01-30.
  6. ^ "Organizational Scheme" (PDF). interpol.int. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-07-14.
  7. ^ "Naslovna". mup.gov.hr. Retrieved 2024-01-30.
  8. ^ "Frontex arrests people smugglers in Croatia". 30 November 2018.
  9. ^ "Croatia police accused of abusing refugees | DW | 16.08.2018". Deutsche Welle.
  10. ^ "Menschenrechtler beklagen: Kroatien schiebt Migranten nach Bosnien ab - ZDFmediathek". www.zdf.de. Archived from the original on 2018-12-17.
  11. ^ "Kroatien: Polizei schießt auf Kleinbus mit illegalen Migranten". Die Welt. 31 May 2018.
  12. ^ "Submachine Gun Type "Ero" cal. 9x19mm > Alan Agency > Product Catalogue". Archived from the original on 2009-10-01. Retrieved 2009-10-22.
  13. ^ a b c d e AirForces Monthly. Stamford, Lincolnshire, England: Key Publishing Ltd. March 2016. p. 10.
  14. ^ a b c "Policija Fleet".
  15. ^ a b "Kupuju se helikopteri za civilnu zaštitu".
  16. ^ "Croatia: Fresh evidence of police abuse and torture of migrants and asylum-seekers". Amnesty International. 2020-06-11. Retrieved 2021-11-12.
  17. ^ "Witness: "If You Scream, They Will Beat You More"". Human Rights Watch. 2021-03-05.
  18. ^ "Annual Torture Report 2020 – Border Violence Monitoring Network". Retrieved 2021-11-12.
  19. ^ Ivković, Sanja Kutnjak; Klockars, Carl; Cajner-Mraović, Irena; Ivanušec, Dražen (2002). "Controlling Police Corruption: The Croatian Perspective". Police Practice and Research. 3: 55–72. doi:10.1080/15614260290011336. S2CID 144690458.