Head of the Polish MI on the priorities and key strategies of the Ministry
Public security, combating organized crime, reform of the National Police Headquarters and its separation from the Central Bureau of Investigation, counteracting violence against the most vulnerable are the main priority areas set out for the Polish Ministry of the Interior which were announced on 10th May 2013 by the Minister of the Interior Mr Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz, at a conference held at the MI.
Currently, the major challenge faced by the Police concerns combating economic and cross-border organized crime. “The first war against organized crime was won by Poland in the 90’s. This war was aimed at large gangs. The state triumphed and so we no longer have the gangs of Wolomin and Pruszkow,” said Mr Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz at the press conference at the MI.
Head of the MI added that at the moment there were about 200 criminal groups operating across Poland which were under constant police monitoring. “For none of them the situation is likely to return to the one observed in the 90’s,” stressed Minister Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz.
Contemporary criminal groups differ from those operating in the 90’s. “By convention they are qualified as white-collar crime,” stated Minister Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz. Head of the MI also added that not brutal gangs come into play nowadays, but “networks dealing with large-scale tax fraud.” This concerns mostly VAT and excise fraud, e. g. in the fuel industries.
Minister Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz stressed that combating this new form of organised crime required special tools. Therefore, a reform of the National Police Headquarters was necessary. Head of the MI discussed the reform announced at an earlier point, including the reform of the Central Bureau of Investigation. At the conference, Minister Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz announced that the Central Bureau of Investigation would operate as an independent entity, with its own commanding officer who would report to the Police Commander in Chief. Under the reform, 200-300 full-time employees would be deployed at the Central Bureau of Investigation, who were so far employed among others at the National Police Headquarters. Minister Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz implied that the new structure of the Central Investigation Bureau may be also populated with officers of the Internal Security Agency, who had been dealing with combating organized crime.
At the conference, the Minister of the Interior emphasised the meaning of protecting the most vulnerable and counteracting violence. “We want to introduce new rules of police operation as regards violence against women, children and the elderly. We want to make sure that no signal on women or children threatened with domestic violence will ever be ignored. We do not want the state authorities to stop at the threshold of households and not interfere with what is going on inside, given that this might be a nightmare outside the scope of competencies of law enforcement agencies. The present situation begs for a change,” underlined Minister Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz.
Minister Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz indicated that in order to prosecute such crime more efficiently, a special operation model should be developed. For this end, the Minister of the Interior declared involvement in a close dialogue with non-governmental organizations which provide assistance to victims of violence.
Head of the MI also touched upon current legislative works conducted by the Ministry, including amendments of the principles of sick leave (the so-called L4) for uniformed services, reform of medical boards, as well as compensation for injuries and diseases related with the service. Moreover, Minister Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz announced that a new draft on the National Civil Defence would be developed.
Minister Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz furthermore informed that until the end of 2013, a programme on counterrrorism activities as well as a national anticorruption system were to be established. A comprehensive anticorruption project should be drafted before the end of the year. Head of the MI Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz added that those strategies had been consulted with secret services and non-governmental organizations. The principles underlying the national anticorruption system were to be further discussed.
Concluding the press conference of the MI, Minister Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz announced that following a meeting of the Collegium for Secret Services, further details would be provided concerning the reform of secret services.
Apart from the Minister of the Interior Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz, the conference was attended by Deputy Ministers: Mr Piotr Stachańczyk, Secretary of State at the MI, Mr Marcin Jabłoński, Undersecretary of State at the MI and Mr Rafał Magryś, Undersecretary of State at the MI.