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Law enforcement in Hungary

law enforcement in hungary map, law enforcement in hungary capital
Law enforcement in Hungary is split among the Police and Border Guards, and the Customs and Excise Authority Since 2006, the Police has been subject to the Ministry of Justice, when the Ministry of Interior was re-structured to deal with Municipalities and Regional Development Due to Hungary's accession to the Schengen Treaty, the Police and Border Guards were merged into a single national corps, with the Border Guards becoming Police Officers This merger took place in January 2008 The Customs and Excise Authority remained to be subject to the Ministry of Finance1

The national police headquarters is located in Budapest, 13th District It is nicknamed as Police Palace In February, 2007, the headquarters was the target of small arms fire, with multiple bullet holes being found in the building, but there were no injuries2


  • 1 Rendőrség Police
  • 2 Terrorelhárítási Központ Counter Terrorism Centre
  • 3 Nemzeti Védelmi Szolgálat National Protective Service
  • 4 Nemzetbiztonsági Szakszolgálat National Security Service
  • 5 Alkotmányvédelmi Hivatal Constitution Protection Office
  • 6 Municipal police services
  • 7 Historical secret and other police organizations
  • 8 See also
  • 9 References
  • 10 External links

Rendőrség Policeedit

The Hungarian Police is the main and largest governmental law enforcement agency in Hungary It reports to the Ministry of the Interior and headed by the National Commissioner of the Police országos rendőrfőkapitány It carries out general policing, patrolling, traffic policing, border control and criminal investigations It is divided into twenty regional units one for the capital city Budapest and nineteen for the nineteen counties of Hungary Among the capital and county departments there are two other units with nationwide jurisdiction: the National Bureau of Investigation Nemzeti Nyomozó Iroda for fighting serious crimes, and the highly militarized Riot Police Készenléti Rendőrség for strengthening local police forces and perform SWAT operations

Terrorelhárítási Központ Counter Terrorism Centreedit

See also: Counter Terrorism Centre

The Counter Terrorism Centre is a special police force with nationwide jurisdiction under the direct control of the Minister of the Interior of Hungary, founded by prime minister Viktor Orbán in 2011 It mainly deals with counter-terrorist activities, the majority of the police officers serving in the body are trained as SWAT officers to fight against armed criminals They interfere when necessary in any case if asked for by the National Police or other authorities Besides, the Counter Terrorism Centre is also responsible for the protection of the Hungarian prime minister, Hungarian president and other high-ranking government and state officials and the security of several government building, and also serves as a secret service-like organisation collecting and analysing information about potentially dangerous groups and persons It is often criticised by the political opposition as "the private army of the prime minister", since its first and current director, police brigadier general János Hajdú was earlier the personal bodyguard of prime minister Viktor Orbán after retiring from his police career Nevertheless, it is a fact that the officers employed and the functions carried out by the service existed earlier mainly within the frameworks of the National Police under the name of "Terrorelhárító Szolgálat" Counter Terrorism Service, they were only centralised into an autonomous police force under the direct control of the Ministry of the Interior, not causing essential changes in the structure and operation of Hungarian law enforcement, only the organisational frameworks changed to some extent

Nemzeti Védelmi Szolgálat National Protective Serviceedit

The National Protective Service is a special police force under the direct control of the Minister of the Interior, with nationwide jurisdiction, mainly dealing with anti-corruption activities within the government sphere The service can collect information about any government officials, including their private life or law enforcement officers in Hungary, even testing their reliability by making a false attempt to bribe them Although the force is also often criticised by the media of the political opposition as "resembling the secret police services of the era of the communistic dictatorship", it should be mentioned that similar anti-corruption organisation exist in nearly all member states of the European Union, and its preceding agency the Rendészeti Szervek Védelmi Szolgálata Protective Service of Law Enforcement Agencies had nearly the same jurisdiction over the uniformed officers employed by the government, its jurisdiction was only extended to the civilian officials employed by ministries and other government organs, and considering the high rates of corruption in Hungary, the existence operation of the service seems to be necessary Since the service was established, the corruption within the public sphere in Hungary including law enforcement agencies decreased to some exttent Up to now it has not been proven that the National Protective Service would have abused its powers granted by law in any way The National Protection Service has established its own code of conduct, and regulations concerning the declaration of property that apply to the police also apply to the National Protective Service3

Nemzetbiztonsági Szakszolgálat National Security Serviceedit

The National Security Service is one of the civilian secret services of Hungary under the direct control of the Minister of the Interior It is a background organisation that provides the technical equipment to collect information about or to intercept someone if ordered by the Police, a court judge, the Public Prosecutor's Office or other authorities The service rather fights against organised crime than dealing with counter-espionage nowadays, and its jurisdictions are strictly regulated by law

Alkotmányvédelmi Hivatal Constitution Protection Officeedit

See also: Constitution Protection Office Hungary

The Constitution Protection Agency is the main internal civilian secret service of Hungary under the control of the Minister of the Interior Although originally it is a domestic intelligence and counter-intelligence agency, since espionage activity is rare in Hungary and in the region, as a law enforcement agency it rather focuses on organised crime and potentially dangerous, political extremist persons and groups, strongly co-operating with the Police and other law enforcement agencies The officers of the agency are allowed to carry firearms, but can use it only for self-defence or for the defence of others, and can perform arrests or other police measures only in the presence of uniformed police officers, their activity is in essence limited to the collection of information

Municipal police servicesedit

In Hungary there are also municipal / local police forces with very limited jurisdictions Its officers are employed by the local government, but their jurisdiction and activities are defined and controlled by the Minister of the Interior and the local state police forces, strictly co-operating with them The most widespread form of local police organisations is the "Közterület-felügyelet" usually translated as Public Space Supervision Authority which can be found in the capital and larger towns in the country Public Space Supervision officers usually wear blue uniforms similar to that of the National Police, and by law they are qualified as police officers and in principle they can perform arrests and other police measures, but practically they are unarmed, and their activity is usually limited to crime prevention and fining the perpetrators of minor offences If they recognise some serious crime, they are to call the National Police According to the new regulation of 2013, local governments in Hungary can also establish so-called "Önkormányzati Rendészet" Local Government Police with a more extended jurisdiction than Public Space Supervision Authorities, and potentially the police officers of such services can be armed, but can wear and use their firearms only under very strict regulations Many local government also employs so-called "Mezőőrség" Rural Police, Ranger Service in order to defend rural areas and infields Local government rural police officers are usually armed with shotguns as qualified hunters, but can use their firearms only for self-defence and if they recognise any serious crimes are to call the National Police, but can levy fines and impede perpetrators until the arrival of the National Police

Historical secret and other police organizationsedit

  • Államvédelmi Osztály ÁVO State Protection Department
  • Államvédelmi Hatóság ÁVH State Protection Authority
  • Csendőrség Gendarmes

See alsoedit

  • Crime in Hungary
  • Law Enforcement and Public Safety Service
  • Police of Hungary


  1. ^ Interpol entry Retrieved 15 May 2007
  2. ^ Science Daily Retrieved 15 May 2007
  3. ^ "Hungary Country Profile" Business Anti-Corruption Portal Retrieved 11 December 2013 

External linksedit

  • Hungary Corruption Profile from the Business Anti-Corruption Portal

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Law enforcement in Hungary

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