Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 August 2014, 11:58 GMT

Croatia: Procedures for reporting a crime to the police and for obtaining police reports; whether police reports can be obtained from abroad by proxy, and if so, the requirements and procedures

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Publication Date 27 June 2012
Citation / Document Symbol HRV104094.E
Related Document Croatie : information sur la procédure à suivre pour signaler un crime à la police et pour obtenir des rapports de police; information indiquant s'il est possible d'obtenir des rapports de police par procuration à l'étranger, et, le cas échéant, les exigences à satisfaire et la procédure à suivre
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Croatia: Procedures for reporting a crime to the police and for obtaining police reports; whether police reports can be obtained from abroad by proxy, and if so, the requirements and procedures, 27 June 2012, HRV104094.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/5036068f211.html [accessed 27 August 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Croatia: Procedures for reporting a crime to the police and for obtaining police reports; whether police reports can be obtained from abroad by proxy, and if so, the requirements and procedures

Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ottawa

1. Reporting a Crime to the Police

In correspondence with the Research Directorate, a research fellow with the criminal law department of the faculty of law at the University of Zagreb, and a lawyer with a law firm in Zagreb, both stated that crimes are reported to the public prosecutor or the police (Research Fellow 1 June 2012; Lawyer 24 May 2012). The lawyer added that they could also be reported to the Office for the Prevention of Corruption and Organised Crime (USKOK) (ibid.). The Coordinator of the Women's Room, an NGO in Zagreb that advocates for women's rights and provides support for women who are victims of sexual violence (Women's Room n.d.), stated that those who desire to report a crime must contact the police authority in their region of residence, and that those who report a crime, including those who were witnesses or who were not victims of the crime, can request and obtain a "Confirmation of the Incident" (Coordinator 28 May 2012). The lawyer also stated that witnesses are able to obtain confirmation statements (24 May 2012). The research fellow stated that crimes can be reported to the police by telephone or in a written or oral statement, but that only a person who provides an oral statement is given a record of the statement as confirmation (Research Fellow 1 June 2012). The lawyer stated that those who make oral statements "might obtain" copies of their statements if they make a request (Lawyer 24 May 2012). According to the lawyer, there are no specific procedures to be followed or forms to be completed to report a crime to the police, and the process can be performed anonymously (ibid.). However, the Coordinator stated that the procedures to report a crime are standardized and detailed in numerous laws and regulations (28 May 2012). Sources indicate that there are no regional differences in the reporting of crimes (Research Fellow 1 June 2012; Lawyer 24 May 2012).

2. Obtaining a Confirmation of the Incident

The time to obtain a confirmation statement may be up to a month, the fees associated with the procedure are nominal, and the statement is also attainable by a proxy who has power of attorney (POA) (Lawyer 24 May 2012). The person who has reported the crime can obtain the confirmation statement at the police station in the area of the crime (Coordinator 28 May 2012). A person who asks for the confirmation statement is required to show ID and pay 20 Croatian Kunas [C$ 3.40 (XE 27 June 2012)] (Coordinator 28 May 2012). The confirmation statement is issued as soon as the police officer responsible for the case, or any other authorized person in the police station, signs the report (ibid.). The confirmation statement is reportedly always issued upon request, and Article 47 of Criminal Procedure Code, as indicated in the Official Gazette 121/11, authorizes the victim to have access to the file and other documents pertinent to court hearing (ibid.). The lawyer stated that apart from the time uncertainty, there are normally no other impediments in obtaining the confirmation statement (Lawyer 24 May 2012).

3. Obtaining a Confirmation of the Incident from Outside Croatia

According to the lawyer, the confirmation statement is obtainable outside of Croatia if the request, from either the requester or a proxy, is accompanied by a "local attorney-at-law" with a POA document that is, preferably, notarized and legalized (ibid.). If the POA document is not in Croatian, then a certified translation must be submitted with the application (ibid.).

4. Access to Police Reports

Sources affirmed that victims are unable to access police reports (Research Fellow 1 June 2012; Lawyer 24 May 2012; Coordinator 28 May 2012). The research fellow and the lawyer attested that the public prosecutor has access to police reports, while the lawyer stated that USKOK also has access (Research Fellow 1 June 2012; Lawyer 24 May 2012). The Coordinator stated that Centres for Social Welfare also have access to police reports (28 May 2012). The research fellow noted two exceptions to the general rule of victims not having access to police reports (Research Fellow 2 June 2012). The first, which applies to the pre-trial phase of an investigation, occurs when the prosecutor decides not to prosecute and authorizes the victim to have access to the case file, which also contains the police report, and the victims may then initiate prosecution themselves if they so desire (ibid.). The second exception is when the victim is permitted to examine the case file following confirmation that prosecution has commenced (ibid.). In correspondence with the Research Directorate, a lawyer with the Croatian Law Centre, a non-governmental human rights organization in Zagreb that engages in legal education and advocacy (ARIADNE n.d.), stated similarly that after the preliminary procedures and upon the initiation of judicial proceedings, the victim has a right to access the criminal file (13 June 2012).

4. Access to Police Reports From Outside Croatia

In the cases in which the victims are able to obtain access to police reports, they can also be obtained from outside of Croatia, although the procedure normally requires the appointment of a proxy (Research Fellow 1 June 2012).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

ARIADNE Network Against Trafficking in Human Beings in South-eastern and Eastern Europe (ARIADNE). N.d. [Accessed 4 June 2012]

Croatian Law Centre, Zagreb. 13 June 2012. Correspondence to the Research Directorate from a lawyer.

Lawyer, Zagreb. 24 May 2012. Correspondence with the Research Directorate.

Research Fellow, Criminal Law Department, Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb. 2 June 2012. Correspondence with the Research Directorate.

_____. 1 June 2012. Correspondence with the Research Directorate.

Women's Room, Zagreb. 28 May 2012. Correspondence to the Research Directorate from the Coordinator.

_____. N.d. "Women's Room - Center for Sexual Rights." [Accessed 4 June 2012]

XE. 27 June 2012. "Currency Converter Widget." [Accessed 27 June 2012]

Additional Sources Consulted

Oral sources: Representatives of the following organizations did not respond to requests for information within the time constraints of this Response: The Autonomous Women's House, Dubrovacko-neretvanska County Police Administration, General Police Directorate in Zagreb, Karlovacka County Police administration, Office of the Croatian People's Ombudsman, the Pozesko-slavonska County Police Administration, the Croatian Victim and Witness Support Service.

Internet sources, including: Access!NFO, Amnesty International, Autonomous Women's House, Balkanalysis, British Broadcasting Corporation, Comité de liaison pour la solidarité avec l'Europe de L'Est, Council of Europe-Commissioner for Human Rights, Croatian Ministry of the Interior, Croatian Ministry of Justice, The Croatian Times, ecoi.net, Factiva, Freedom House, Human Rights Watch, International Crisis Group-Balkans, Open Society Institute, Physicians for Human Rights, Radio France internationale, Reporters Without Borders, Stop Violence Against Women, United Nations Refworld, US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants.

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

Search Refworld

Countries