Law enforcement in Varkana

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Law enforcement in Varkana is a responsibility of the National Police which is a public service of the Department of the Interior, carrying out certain tasks, the so-called, police activities, laid down by law. In 2004, the Police and Border Guards were merged into a single national corps, with the Border Guards becoming Police Officers. The Customs and Excise Authority remains subject to the Department of Finance.

Organization

National Police Corps

It has the primary responsibility for policing urban and rural areas, as well as the armed forces and military installations, airport security and shipping ports. It is divided into several branches.

Communal Police

It conducts security operations (preventative patrols, traffic duties, handling of the mentally ill, etc.) within its respective commune. The communal police officers can notice all the breaches but cannot investigate. Mayors have administrative police power in a commune (i.e. they can order the police to enforce the communal by-laws), and a judge has police power in their court (i.e. they can have people who disrupt the proceedings expelled from the court room). The communal police comprises a variety of actions undertaken under the direction and supervision of the executive branch, notably the prefect, police forces conduct a variety of actions ensuring public order. They include:

  • directing road traffic
  • channeling street demonstrations
  • positioning riot control forces

Judicial Police

The Judicial Police is highly centralized and under the control of the Department of the Interior. Under the orders and supervision of the investigating magistrates of the judiciary, it conducts criminal inquiries, serves search warrants, etc.; it maintains specific services for criminal inquiries. The judicial police comprise a variety of actions undertaken under the direction and supervision of the judiciary. They include:

  • pursuing and arresting suspects
  • interrogating suspects in some phases of judicial enquiries
  • gathering evidence
  • serving search warrants

Rights and limitations

The powers of Varkan police forces are constrained by statute law and jurisprudence. The rules of procedure depend on the stage of enquiry:

  • Crimes committed in flagrante delicto, in which a suspect was found committing the crime, or pursued by witnesses, or found in possession of objects from the crime or other probable cause.
  • Preliminary enquiries: it is unclear whether a crime, or which crime, has been committed, but there exist good reasons to believe this might be the case.
  • Judicial information: an investigative magistrate (a judge, external to the police) supervises an inquiry on a case where it is certain, or at least very probable, that a crime has been committed.

In particular, outside of crimes in flagrante delicto, law enforcement forces may not conduct searches or arrests without a specific commission from the investigative magistrate. Depending on legal status of cases, not all law enforcement officers are able to act; some powers are restricted to those have special legal qualifications.