Alleged ill-treatment cases investigated by the police – not a single official was convicted Of the allegations: 1518 maltreatment allegations by law enforcement officials have examined. Only seven cases ended up in court. There was not even a single conviction.
The study was commissioned by former Minister of Justice Wolfgang Brandstetter by the Austrian Center for Law Enforcement Sciences (ALES). Cases were examined in Vienna and Salzburg from the years 2012 to 2015. “The typical complainant is male and between 18 and 34 years,” says study author and criminal law professor Susanne Reindl-Krauskopf.
More than half are Austrian citizens. Conspicuous: Around 70 percent of the complainants were under the influence of alcohol or drugs or had a mental impairment.
The accused official is males, between the ages of 18 and 34 – and has not sustained any injuries. He belongs to special forces like Cobra and WEGA. There were individual police inspections, against whose officials there were conspicuously often reproaches – in Vienna, for example, the inspection Laurenzerberg, in Salzburg those at the city hall (Rudolfskai). A possible explanation provides the study author with the same: “Two thirds of the cases occurred between 18 o’clock in the evening and 6 o’clock in the morning.”
The fact that the plethora of allegations did not result in a conviction does not suggest that prosecutors do not over-investigate such cases, says Christian Pilnacek, Secretary General of the Ministry of Justice. On the contrary: He have worked the recommendations of the study authors and adopted in a decree. “To ensure the credibility and comprehensible handling of such allegations and to avoid the appearance of corps mind.” In public perception, such allegations would “generate great interest and different representations”.
It is now necessary to document every contact between the criminal investigation department and
the prosecutor, and the reporting period has been extended to 48 hours.
“Proper treatment of abuse allegations is very important,” says Peter Goldgruber, Secretary General of the Ministry of Interior. Otherwise, this could lead to a loss of confidence in the police. “All burden and relief must be taken into account.” Even if there was no charge, it would be drawn in such cases consequences – such as additional training. “In the future, we also want increase the use of bodycams.”
Incidentally, in ten percent of cases, the applicant was brought to trial for defamation.
The study can not be turned down to the year 2017: 509 mistreatment allegations resulted in nine legal proceedings, out of which seven times, the police was found guilty.