Police work

Traffic guards in Prague on horses

Police horses form: magistrat.praha-mesto.cz There were horses in common state police use, but this is after a long time (probably going back to the time before WWII) the first case traffic police is going to use them. Two white Strarokladrubaci (Old – Kladrubian – breed) were chosen for their good physical statue and character stability. The selecting team was betting on experiences of police from Pardubice, a city well-known for it’s Velka Pardubicka Steeplechase. Price of one such horse is 189 000 CZK (6300 €).

And why the police decided so? “For parks of Prague they are great helpers, who can move very fast.” police deputy Blazek stated. They will serve in i.e. Stromovka. But before they start, they have hard, few-months of training ahead.

Their first service ride is going to be at the beginning of 2008. Before, they have to be used to tramways, buses, obstacles, barking dogs or any city noises. Four wardens who saddle the horses were chosen from total 15, who had to have experience with horses, some of them even having them.

New device to reduce stolen cars in Prague

The city of Prague plans to buy a new device that will recognize stolen cars according to the registration number of the car. The device will scan all registration numbers of passing cars and compare them with the data from the national register of stolen cars. Stolen cars will be immediately reported to the police.

Prague got inspired by German city Munich where the number of stolen cars dropped by 40 %. The city of Prague have chosen 21 places where to place the new system. The system for 74 million CZK will be installed by the end of this year, the trial mode should start at the beginning of 2008.

More than four thousand cars have been stolen in Prague this year, which is almost a half of all stolen cars in the Czech Republic. The most stolen cars are of Skoda, Volkswagen, Ford, Peugeot and Renault brands.

Police conference in Prague against pickpocketing

Prague will host a conference where the directors of the police from the Central European countries will discuss the problem of pickpocketing. Polish and German police officers will share their experience with fighting this problem with their Czech colleagues.

Prague is presented in many book guides as a city with a high number of pickpockets. However, according to a new study made by the Prague police, there is even a ‘worse’ city regarding pickpocketing and that’s Vienna. On the other hand Munich is very successful with fighting the pickpocketing.

Nevertheless, it is hard to compare the situation in different cities as the legislation differs slightly. What is considered somewhere as a crime (and put in the statistics) is somewhere else considered as a minor offence. The meeting of police directors is held every half a year, and every time it is organized by a different city.

67% people are satisfied with Prague police

Prague people are least satisfied with the work of the police than people in other regions of the Czech Republic. Even though the number of satisfied people has grown from 56% (2004) to 67% (2007), it’s still the lowest in the country.

25% of Prague people are totally dissatisfied with the work of the police, the country average is 22%. Prague people also feel least safe – only 82% feel safe in comparison with almost 90% in the whole country.

Unfortunately, Prague is also on the sad top in the number of corruptions of police officers. Prague people would also welcome more police officers on the streets than citizens of other towns or villages in the Czech Republic.

Who to ask the way in Prague?

Knights of the Cross Square More and more police officers are able to communicate with tourist in foreign languages. At least these are the words of the spokeswoman of the Prague police Iva Knolova. According to her, younger generation in police forces have normally basic knowledge of foreign languages, especially English.

Still, if you can’t make yourself understood, visit the police station situated in Na Mustku street in the centre of Prague. There you can find interpreters of the main world languages. For languages that are not so common, the police will call court interpreters.

The police also invited students to help them with translations of more difficult questions. The students assist the police officers in the centre of Prague every weekend in June and September and every day in July and August.

GPS for policemen in the centre of Prague

Police officer in the street of Prague The city police in the centre of Prague (Prague 1) will be equipped with the navigation system GPS by this September. There are two reasons for that. First of all, the police will be able to provide thousands of tourists that stroll in the streets of Prague with information. The other reason is to control the police work better.

The city police will be able to advice tourists the shortest way to any destination, to find out the opening times or more information about Prague monuments. The police headquarter will be also able to check whether and how ofter the patrolmen visited various localities.

Prague 1 will invest about 800,000 CZK to improve the police work. If the navigation system turns out to be helpful, the device will be bought for police officers in other Prague districts.

Action against pickpockets and prostitutues in Prague

More police officers can be seen in the centre of Prague in summer. The reason? The city tries to fight pickpocketing, false money from exchange bureaus, beggars and prostitution.

The city police will build three mobile booths in the Wenceslas Square, the Old Town Square and Kinsky Square to provide tourists with information or help. The policemen will be accompanied with young students who will help them with foreign languages.

The police officers will be also present in the busiest tram lines – no. 9 and 22 – to prevent pickpockets from stealing. They will also hand over leaflets showing the Czech currency.

Prague police accused of ill-treatment of demonstrators

There were not just celebrations, but also several conflicts in Prague on the 1st May. Right-wing extremists assaulted a group of young socialists and the fight had to be stopped by the police. Several socialist demonstrators were then detained, because their meeting was not announced and they refused to go away. They say, that they were treated in a humiliating way at the police station.

The 26 detained socialists reportedly had to undress and squat. The spokeswoman of Prague police defends the policemen: the undressing and squatting is allegedly used to find out, if the detained person has a gun. However, these methods are only used when dealing with dangerous offenders, so the incident is now being investigated.

Prague police had similar problems last year, when the politician Katerina Jacques was beaten by policemen at the demonstrations on the 1st May.

Police officer shot a pedestrian in Prague by accident

Yesterday afternoon a police officer shot a pedestrian by accident when he tried to stop a robber in his car. The accident happened at about half past one near Jindrisska street in the centre of Prague.

Two men robbed a lady and tried to escape with her handbag. Police officers were chasing them. One of the robber was caught with the handbag, the other man managed to get into his car. When he tried to run his car into one of the police officers, the policeman pulled a gun. The bullet ricocheted off the car and hit a passer-by into his leg.

The injured man had to be treated by the ambulance. The police are still searching for the robber who managed to escape.

Police swoop at the Ministry of Defense

There was a police swoop at the Czech Ministry of Defense yesterday. About 180 detectives were searching for evidence of corruption on many workplaces of the ministry in the whole republic.

There is a suspicion, that employees of the Ministry of Defence rigged competitive tenders of the army. The tenders were for reconstruction and sale of the army´s real estate and their value was estimated at about half a milliard of Czech crowns.

Police also made a house search in the homes of those suspected. They are an organized group of people, arranging the frauds together and then sharing the profit. There are at least 10 people suspected.

Suspicion of corruption often accompanies army tenders. After all, the Czech Republic is a country with a high rate of corruption generally.

Prague lacks police officers

Police officers demonstrated at the exhibition ground in Prague yesterday against a new law that demoted many police officers, which led to lower salaries, as well as cancelled premium for their work at weekends, holidays and night shifts. On the other hand police officers have longer paid holiday, shorter working hours and entitlements to physiotherapy now.

About 2000 police officers met in front of the Krizik fountain where they signed Manifest 361 which will be sent to politicians within one month.

The law affects police officers, fire fighters, warders and customs officers, all together 72,000 people. 47,000 of them are police officers. The new law has already resulted in mass leaving. 1040 police officers have already handed in their notices.

Prague lacks now about 400 police officers. Another 100 is going to leave soon. The reason for that is not only the new law, but also the fact, that 60 % of Prague police officers are not originally from Prague. After some time, these police officers want to move back to their home districts. In two years there are supposed to be 1000 new street police officers in Prague thanks to the new recruitment campaign.

Recruitment campaign for Prague police officers

At the end of this year there should be about 1000 city police officers in Prague. To get this number of employees, the administration of city police decided to launch a big recruitment campaign to attract more people. Short films in the style of action movies will show up soon on TV or in the cinemas.

The director David Ondricek wants to show in the films the image of police work in Prague. Two police officers jump from one roof to another, ride a motorcycle or exercise in the gym. The film is supposed to be a kind of hyperbole. Apart from the film, there will be posters and advertisements as well.

A city police officer is Prague is responsible for a certain Prague district that he/she knows the best. New city police officers will mainly patrol in public transport and the city centre.

Safer Prague with more police officers

The Prague council plans to increase number of police officers in the streets of the city to improve citizens´safety and to suppress criminality. Within two years there should be 2700 police officers, which is 1000 more than now.

Approving this decision is up to the council which will be elected in the forthcoming municipal elections in October. There are also plans to improve the camera system in the city with some more security cameras in operation, and to use a program which can independently uncover a possible crime.

In recent years, the number of crimes committed in the city decreased. In 2002 it was about 102.870, last year about 95.730. But according to the municipal authorities, the clarifying of the crimes is less successful as well. Four years ago, the police solved every fourth case, last year it was every fifth one.

Pyrotechnists strikes

Heavily armoured pyrotechnist has got a work yesterday in Prague. Someone called police number 158, because he has seen a suspicious suitcase in Kinsky square.

Police also used a dog trained in recognizing bombs. Than one of pyrotechnists took the suitcase and give it into police vehicle. Fortunately the suitcase has been empty. It is possible than someone want to create a chaos or someone has been to lay to take the old suitcase into an garbage pail.

Prague has second drunken car

Prague police has second car for drunken people. The first one is showing its quality every day.

It works a half of a year and Prague policemen use it for 1335 drunken people, the car reached 55 thousands kilometers. 52 year old man was transported twelve times. Drunks has 2,5-3 per thousand of alcohol in blood on the average.

End station is every time sobering-up station Na Bulovce. The second car is ass the first one specially adapted for transport of drunken people.

Policemen will keep an eye on zebra crossings

The end of school year is coming and this mean that the police have work to do. 150 policemen watch over the eighty zebra-crossings every morning of school day. Police raises the number of policemen in the last days of June.

240 policemen will supervise and coordinate the traffic at 150 crossings. Some schools have the last day earlier then another, so the police contacts the headmasters for better coordination.

Policemen will also at zebra crossings not only in the morning before school time, when kids will gain a school report, but also after that, when the youth will return home.

Prague police arrested international drug dealers

Police action with codename Bach has succeeded. Police arrested two members of international drug dealing group, the rest of the group was arrested by German police-men.

Members of the group has Italian, Poland, Netherlands, Macedonian and Albanian nationality. Two arrested members of the group in Prague has Albanian nationality, one of them has Macedonian citizenship the other was citizen of the Netherlands.

750 grams of heroin was found in Prague. Police in Germany also has found 2.1 kilograms of cocaine. This is enough for 10 500 doses.

Drunk car transported 1000 people

A special police car modified for drunk people can “celebrate” 1000th “customer”. Municipal police of Prague uses this car for transporting drunk and soused people to a sobering-up station.

1000th transported drunken was a 49 years old woman with 3,79 per thousand of an alcohol in blood. There was out of first 1000 people 155 women and 285 foreigners. A record holder is 52 years old man, who was transported twelve times. Average value is 2,5-3 per thousands of an alcohol. Some of drunk had over 5 per thousand.

Drunk car is used by Prague police since January. Until then drunk people was transported by an ambulance. The car is prepared for its customers 24 a day.

Street policeman as a hero

Ladislav Fiala was honoured by Badge of Courage by vice mayor of Prague. Fiala is ordinary street municipal policeman, his heroism is an exemplary act.

He caught a thug very shortly after his crime, where he had robbed and stabbed by 25cm (10 inches) long knife a married couple of Vietnam shopkeepers. The policeman chased him in Prague streets and because he is sportsman, he came up him and without any weapon he overwhelmed him.

Four years ago he seized a murder of Austrian tourist.

Let’s hope that Prague has more “ordinary street municipal policemen” such Ladislav Fiala is.

Fines of smokers: 750 000 CZK

The law which prohibits smoking at train platforms and at tram and bus stops is in validity from 1st January 2006.

750 000 CZK in fines is a large number, but is seems that this new law has no effect. The number of smokers at stations is same – about 1500 smokers each month pay a fine. This is criticised by municipal police as well, because there is no effect and the police has to do more work.

Still there is a problem that no one including police knows what exactly “the station” is and where people can smoke and where it is prohibited.