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Hungary

General Information

Admission to the OSCE: 25 June 1973

The law enforcement bodies of Hungary are the National Police and the Customs and Finance Guard. The Police is an independent organization within the Ministry of Justice and Law Enforcement, while the Customs and Finance Guard is under the direction of the Ministry of Finance.


National Police

1. General information
The Police is an armed law enforcement agency of the state.

The Government directs the Police by way of the Minister responsible for law enforcement; the organization is comprised of the central unit, the county (metropolitan) police headquarters, police stations and border policing stations.

The Police organize their tasks by way of service branches (e.g. criminal investigation), services (e.g. anti-terror service) and special services (e.g. economic).

Tasks of the Police of the Republic of Hungary are the protection of public order and public security, the protection of the state border, the control of the border traffic ant the maintenance of the order of the state border.

The Police, inter alia:

  • exercises the general criminal investigation authority's powers, prevents and detects crimes;
  • exercises minor offence authority's powers.
  • deals with traffic authority's and traffic enforcement tasks;
  • is responsible for law enforcement tasks concerning the maintenance the order of public areas;
  • ensures the personal protection of persons taking part in criminal proceedings and of members of the proceeding authority;
  • protects the life and limb of persons of outmost importance to the interests of the Republic of Hungary, protects designated objects;
  • protects the state border, controls border traffic.

2. Structure and organization
The National Police Headquarters consists of four General Directorates – the General Directorate for Criminal Investigation, the General Directorate for Law Enforcement, the General Directorate for Economic Affairs and the Dignitary Protection Service which has General Directorate status – as well as the Human Resource Management Service. For further information please consult the document "organizational structure of the Hungarian National Police Headquarters" in the Attachments section.

Attachments

  Restructuring the Hungarian National Police Headquarters [English] (307.65 Kb) Restructuring the Hungarian National Police Headquarters [English] (Format: PDF) http://polis-cp.osce.org/countries/view?item_id=19&attach_id=132
Detailed information on the structure and organization of the National Police Headquarters
  Toward Community Policing: The Police and Ethnic Minorities in Hungary [English] (220.11 Kb) Toward Community Policing: The Police and Ethnic Minorities in Hungary [English] (Format: PDF) http://polis-cp.osce.org/countries/view?item_id=19&attach_id=134
Report prepared in 2000 by the "Project on Ethnic Relations"
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Customs and Finance Guard

1. Functions and missions
The Customs and Finance Guard performs duties of execution within the scope of customs administration, which is a part of financial administration, controlled and supervised by the Ministry of Finance. The customs organization is tasked to:

  • perform customs control of goods and passengers crossing the EU border;
  • perform, in defined areas, examination of products, goods and services for the purpose of classification related to taxation, quality and other requirements defined in separate legal regulations, whether directly or indirectly, or the control of such examination's performance;
  • perform prevention, surveillance and investigation of financial crimes under its competence as defined in the Criminal Procedure Code and other relevant legal regulations;
  • handle professional customs duties arising by virtue of working relationships with foreign customs administrations and international customs organs pursuant to authorization by the Ministry of Finance or relevant international conventions.

2. Structure and organization
Customs organs with authoritative jurisdiction include the following:

  • Basic level (local) organs: customs office, investigation office, Customs Warehouse;
  • Mid-level organs: regional administrative organs, Central Airport Directorate, Central Law Enforcement Directorate, Central Control Directorate, Central Patrol Service Unit, Administrative Management and IT Centre, Customs Laboratory;
  • High-level organs: Directorate General and the Commissioner.

Customs organs without authoritative jurisdiction are organs established to supply technical and material assets to the various customs organs, provide financial, IT and economic services and basic and advanced training to staff officers, and organize health care, social and cultural services.

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Oversight

The Protective Service of Law Enforcement Agencies performs tasks in the prevention, protection and detection of internal crimes among the professional and public servant staffs of:

  • the Police;
  • the National Directorate General for Disaster Management (including the professional bodies of Civil Defence and the professional national and local fire services of the government and the local authorities);
  • the Customs and Finance Guard;
  • penal executive institutions; and
  • Ministry-level bodies supervising these agencies

Oversight activities are primarily focused on prevention and detection through collection, analysis and evaluation of data pertaining to felonies and other violations. In its work, the Service uses reports and complaints from the public; relies on the help of staff within the agency investigated; and collaborates with government and social organizations, individual citizens and international law enforcement agencies.

The Service is not an investigation authority. Its crime detection activities do not go beyond the confirmation or exclusion of the occurrence of a suspected crime and the reporting of cases to the competent prosecutor's office, or closing the case, as appropriate. In the field of crime prevention and detection, the powers of the Service cover the following:

  • malfeasances in office;
  • crimes committed in official capacity;
  • other crimes committed on duty or in connection with official capacity, except when the intelligence belongs to the exclusive competence of national security or the police;
  • military felonies committed by professional police officers and actual military personnel serving in the Border Guards.

Attachments

  Statistics [English] (14.38 Kb) Statistics [English] (Format: PDF) http://polis-cp.osce.org/countries/view?item_id=19&attach_id=189
Criminal Statistics: Number of staff members subjected to covert criminal intelligence gathering (2007-2008)
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Links

Government of Hungary  Government of Hungary http://www.magyarorszag.hu/
Official website of the Hungarian Government

Ministry of Justice and Law Enforcement - Hungary  Ministry of Justice and Law Enforcement - Hungary http://www.kormany.hu/en
Official website of the Hungarian Ministry of Justice and Law Enforcement, available in Hungarian, German, English and French.

National Police - Hungary  National Police - Hungary http://www.police.hu/
Official website of the Hungarian National Police

Protective Service of Law Enforcement Agencies of Hungary's Ministry of Justice and Law Enforcement  Protective Service of Law Enforcement Agencies of Hungary's Ministry of Justice and Law Enforcement http://rszvsz.hu/en/introduction
Official website of the Protective Service of Law Enforcement Agencies of Hungary's Ministry of Justice and Law Enforcement

Customs and Finance Guard - Hungary  Customs and Finance Guard - Hungary http://vam.gov.hu/
Official website of the Hungarian Customs and Finance Guard. Available in Hungarian, German, English and French.

OSCE/ ODIHR Legislationline - Hungary  OSCE/ ODIHR Legislationline - Hungary http://www.legislationline.org/countries/country/25
Legislationline is a gratis internet-based legislative database published and maintained by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR).

Last Updated: 4 September 2009

Also see: Austria, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Ukraine, Romania, Croatia