The OSCE in its report on democracy in Serbia says that to establish democratic stability in a country "it is crucial that the policing is both democratic and free from political interference" (OSCE, 2002). For this purpose, accountability is essential both within and outside the organization. This is to ensure that the police do not function in an undemocratic manner and can be held to account by the citizens for its actions. The report says that the most important feature of democratic policing is that "policing must be with the general consent of the public" (OSCE, 1). This applies both to the actions of the police personnel and the manner in which the action occurs. There must be an ongoing dialogue between the public and the police regarding the style of policing and the limitations of police powers (OSCE, 1). It implies an agreed understanding between the two about when the police will intervene and the acceptable ways for them to do it. It is known as "moral consensus."
In this system there is a balance between power and accountability. Power is granted to the police forces by the parliament on behalf of the citizens, who are granted the ability to hold the police accountable for their actions, policies, procedures, priorities, and expenditure (OSCE 2002). ...Show more