Municipalities with a municipal police force; powers invested in the municipal police [ALB42913.E]

Under the terms of Law No. 8224 for the Organization and Functioning of the Police of the Municipality and Commune, municipal police forces are mandated to perform functions that "serve the public order, tranquility, and the progress of public works within the territory of the municipality or commune, [and] which are not under the competence of other state authorities in compliance with the provisions of this law" (Albania 15 May 1997). Responsibilities specified under the law include the following:

1.To guarantee the implementation of the acts issued by the chairman of the municipality (commune) and the council dealing with public security, tranquility, and the progress of public works.
2.To take measures for the protection of the property owned and administered by the municipality and commune.
3.To guarantee the implementation of orders issued by the chairman of the municipality (commune) related to physical or juridical persons that do not fulfill their financial and fiscal obligations in conformity with the law, as well as any other obligation toward them.
4.To supervise and verify that citizens, while administering their property, implement or fulfill the requirements of municipality acts.
5.To discover and prevent environmental pollution and littering, and to notify the chairman of the municipality (commune) regarding the appearance of harmful parasites and epidemics.
6.To prohibit, avoid, and demolish illegal constructions, to prohibit the illegal occupation of public building sites, public buildings, and objects of the municipality and commune as well as to organize for their removal.
7.To care for the public tranquility through the policing of quarrels, noise caused by gatherings, speakers of radios and recorders, vehicle horns absent criteria for their use in streets, domiciles, beaches, and other public environments that cause problems for others.
8.To take all necessary measures for the protection of public order, in places where people gather such as: markets, fairs, in public, artistic, religious, athletic ceremonies, in movie theaters, other theatres, athletic buildings and halls, building for religious use, and other public environments.
9.To inspect the implementation of legal provisions that regulate buying and selling activities in the public environment.
10.To care for the implementation of the working hours of service industries, bars, restaurants, billiards, lucky games or other objects of public activity, as well as for the implementation of the regulations or orders issued by the chairman of the municipality or commune.
11.To control security measures, to prevent misfortunes as well as to help in their overcoming by providing help for damaged persons in urgent cases.
12.To take temporary measures for the supervision of severely mentally ill persons who are causing problems to the public order.
13.To care for the guarding of posters, announcements, and public declarations, as well as for the removal of illegal and unauthorized ones (ibid.).

In fulfilling its responsibilities, the municipal police is empowered to "call citizens who have violated the [law's] provisions ... to the police office of the municipality and commune," and to impose fines of between 500 and 5,000 leks (between CAN $6.28 and CAN $62.77 [Pacific Exchange Rate Service 10 Sept. 2004]) (Albania 15 May 1997). Furthermore, the law stipulates that municipal police officers who observe a criminal act while performing their duties should escort the suspect to the police commissariat, secure the scene of the crime, "fix" witnesses and safeguard evidence pending the arrival of the judicial police (ibid.).

The country's first municipal police force was established in Tirana in September 2001 (Institute for Contemporary Studies 24 Jan. 2002, 21). On 24 January 2002, the Tirana-based Institute for Contemporary Studies claimed that a lack of funding was the only barrier preventing the creation of similar forces elsewhere in the country, adding that it was expected that some large municipalities would in fact establish a municipal force later in 2002 (ibid.). However, the only reference to a municipal force outside of Tirana that could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate was that of Saranda, to which Rrapo Xhavara was appointed commander in June 2002 (HRW Jan. 2004).

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 additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Albania. 15 May 1997. Law No. 8224 for the Organization and Functioning of the Police of the Municipality and Commune.,%2015.05.97%20Organ.&Funct.%20of%20the%20munic.&comm.police.htm [Accessed 9 Sept. 2004]

Human Rights Watch. January 2004. World Report 2004. "Albania." [Accessed 8 Sept. 2004]

Institute for Contemporary Studies [Tirana]. 24 January 2002. Artan Hoxha. "Local Self-Government and Decentralization Case of Albania: History, Reforms and Challenges." [Accessed 9 Sept. 2004]

Pacific Exchange Rate Service. 10 September 2004. [Accessed 10 Sept. 2004]

Additional Sources Consulted

Unsuccessful attempts to contact the Albanian Helsinki Committee and the Albanian Association of Municipalities.

Publication: Jane's Intelligence Review [Surrey]. Jan.-Aug. 2004.

Internet sites, including: Albanews, Albanian Association of Municipalities, Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA), Balkan Human Rights Web Pages, Dialog, International Crisis Group (ICG), Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Southeast European Times

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