Present report describes and assesses the legal regime in the field of crime prevention and police powers. Preventive police measures are one of the most important, widely spread and relatively new areas of police activity. The preventive police system implies a set of measures that lead to the prevention and repression of crimes or offenses and implies carrying out of actions of various intensity by the police. The goal of the Prevention System is to detect and neutralize the threat before its realization, and for safeguarding this important public good the legislation enables to interfere with human rights and freedoms with intensity of various degrees.
In 2013 the Parliament of Georgia adopted a new law on Police. In contrast to the previously existing legislation, the Parliament for the first time specified the full list of mechanisms available to the police for the purpose of prevention of crime. The new legislative regulation allowed the police to expand the area of contact with the citizens, including applying to such measures as: police raid, stopping of person, his identification, summon to police etc. Besides, the right to communicate with the citizen within the preventive measures was given to virtually all subdivisions of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which further increased the intensity of interaction between the police services and citizens. Unfortunately, official statistics on interaction of the police with citizens for the prevention purposes, which would have allowed for more detailed research of the scope of police control, is not accessible.
As a result of amendments entered into the law in 2013, the crime prevention system has been formed in such a way, that the process was not seen in the light of unified state policy and strategy, which would have balanced the functions of the law enforcement and other public institutions in this area. Thus, it turned out that the main responsibility of crime prevention was moved to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Such distribution of liabilities and responsibilities created the threat of large-scale police control, which is supported by a large number of preventive measures enacted by law, which by their nature and real content are of repressive character and promote vast interference by police. In addition, the risks from preventive police activities are largely linked to the abstract character of the possible threat, which needs to be averted, which increases the danger of wrongdoing and arbitrariness on behalf of the police.
In present report the Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center (EMC) continues to analyze the complexity of crime prevention, and seeks to describe and evaluate in detail the grounds and purpose of police preventive measures, as well as the applicable standards and experience of other countries in given area, overview the guarantees of protection of citizens during interaction with police, and forms of supervision and control over preventive activities of the police. The document also assesses the general legislative and institutional framework in which the police operates and highlights the risks associated with risky expansion of police control through the implementation of preventive police measures.
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