The opinion was issued in the procedure regarding the complaint lodged by V.R.C.D. on behalf of the minor boy D.G. against the Novi Sad Police Directorate, Detelinara Police Substation. The complaint stated that on 9 February 2017, during an intervention at the Primary School “D.O.” in N.S., the police officer N.N. slapped the minor boy D.G., who is a member of the Roma national minority, and that he made insults and threats on the grounds of national affiliation. The complaint also claimed that the following day N.N. also insulted S.A., D.G.’s mother, on the school premises as well as in the police station, where he attacked her physically and insulted her on account of her national affiliation. It was pointed out that the complaint was filed against the Novi Sad Police Directorate, Detelinara Substation, because it was believed that nothing had been done to protect the G. family. The Novi Sad Police Directorate stated in its declaration that following the event at the Primary School “D.O.” in N.S., the parents of the minor boy D.G. lodged a complaint with this Police Directorate regarding the conduct of the police officer N.N. They pointed out that, in connection with this complaint, they conducted a procedure in the course of which statements were taken from the minor boy D.G, S.A, F.G, head teacher S.P. and police officer A.S. They also inspected official records and the report on the intervention concerned and looked at the video recording made by security cameras installed at the Primary School “D.O.” in N.S. However, in the course of examining the complaint lodged by the mother of the minor boy D.G. it was not established that the police officer hit the minor boy D.G. with an open hand, or that he physically attacked S.A. on the school premises. When it comes to the part of the complaint regarding aggressive and unprofessional behaviour of the police officer towards S.A. on premises of the Detelinara Police Substation, the allegations were confirmed and a disciplinary sanction was imposed on the police officer N.N. The Novi Sad Police Directorate provided evidence supporting the claims made in the declaration regarding measures and activities taken. In addition, in the course of the procedure it was established that the Basic and Higher Public Prosecutor’s Offices in Novi Sad dismissed criminal charges filed against the police officer N.N. for his conduct against the minor boy D.G. The Commissioner for the Protection of Equality issued the opinion that in the procedure conducted regarding the complaint lodged by V.R.C.D. on behalf of the minor boy D.G. against the Novi Sad Police Directorate, Detelinara Police Substation, it was not established that the Novi Sad Police Directorate had violated the provisions of the Law on the Prohibition of Discrimination. However, having in mind that community-oriented policing is an adequate response to priority and other needs of citizens and specificities of local communities, ethnic, religious and other social groups, the Commissioner has made a recommendation, in accordance with the prescribed competencies under Article 33, paragraph 9, of the Law on the Prohibition of Discrimination stating that the Commissioner shall recommend that public authorities and other persons take measures for achieving equality, that the Novi Sad Police Directorate should organise training in how to recognise and protect against discrimination with a view to educating and sensitising its employees.
|COMMISSIONER FOR THE PROTECTION OF EQUALITY